Bram, Karahan & Moore: “Minimum Wage Impacts along the New York-Pennsylvania Border”

From conclusion to the Liberty Street post:

In gauging the effects of New York’s escalating minimum wage on two sizable low-wage industry sectors, one growing and the other shrinking, we find that it appears to have had a positive effect on average wages but no discernible effect on employment. It is possible that there was some negative effect on weekly hours worked, though that would imply an even stronger upward effect on hourly wages. However, longer-term effects, if any, remain to be seen. It is certainly conceivable that minimum-wage differentials may affect decisions on firm location, business investment, lease renewal, and the like over a longer time horizon. Moreover, as currently scheduled, the phasing in of the higher minimum wage across upstate New York still has a long way to go. Thus, we will continue to monitor local trends in both employment and wages—particularly in these lower-wage sectors.

I posted this because some are wondering if Card/Krueger diffs-in-diffs approach holds 30 years on. Well, at least in this case it does. Some graphs.



55 thoughts on “Bram, Karahan & Moore: “Minimum Wage Impacts along the New York-Pennsylvania Border”

  1. pgl

    September 2019? Now Bruce Hall will school you that this is so outdated. Come on – he has reams of more timely evidence, which Kelly Anne Conway gave him just yesterday.

      1. pgl

        Piggly? OK – you name is BruceButt then. That is where your little brain resides. You actually think a cartoonist post from DON BOUDREAUX is evidence? Especially since this pathetic excuse of an economist can only imagine competitive D = S models taught in week 1 for freshman economics

        Come on BruceButt – this is weak even for you.

    1. Bruce Hall

      Okay, let’s look at New York’s current conditions:

      Now, depending where in Pennsylvania you were making the comparison, you can come up with all sorts of different results:

      The minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25 an hour and a jump to $15 an hour would more than double that rate in a very short time. While Pennsylvania’s rate is low, depending on where in Pennsylvania that wage is being paid, it might be more or less in line with the economic situation overall. As you see from the first link, the minimum wage in New York is $11.80 with NYC already at $15, so the lift to $15 in areas that are not already there or near that level is far less than in Pennsylvania. This reflects the vast difference in the overall economies of the two states. New York City drives the higher wages due to the financial sector and ports. Pennsylvania does not have a comparable engine.

      It’s easy for someone who lives in NYC to say raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour is no big deal; not so much elsewhere.

      So, I’ll reiterate that a one-size fits all approach is bad policy. It doesn’t reflect real difference between states and even between sections of states. It’s a grand exercise in central planning that worked so well for the Soviets. The real question is: does minimum wage drive the overall economy of a state or does the overall economy of a state drive the actual wages? Actual wages paid in Oakland County, MI are significantly higher than comparable work pays in Ishpeming. In fact, actual wages paid in Birmingham, Oakland County, Michigan are higher than paid in sections of northern Oakland County. A real economist might want to know why.

      Ask yourselves: why are there different levels of minimum wages now? It is job market that wrong?

      Waiting for the next snarky comment containing no value whatsoever.

      1. pgl

        There is some point in this disjointed bluster?? Yea I get that NYC has been progressive in enacting higher minimum wages. And BTW – NJ had a higher minimum wage in that dataset CK analyzed back in the early 1990’s than Penn did. And NJ had a positive employment effect. Like you said – this paper is over a quarter of a century AND YOU STILL HAVE NOT READ IT. DAMN!

  2. pgl

    These long winded comments from Bruce “no relationship to Robert” Hall displays all of the reasons the rest of us realize he is even dumber than Princeton Steve. Never mind the fact that he clearly has never grasped the basics of the monopsony model. The only thing he has read on this topic is the date of that 1994 AER paper.

    Never mind the fact that our host has provided several recent papers that are well written providing both the theoretical framework but also more recent evidence. Never mind that we have surveys of the vast research on this topic since 1994.

    Bruce Hall cannot be bothered to read that either before he writes one stupid comment after another. I guess Bruce learned all he needs to know from Kelly Anne Conway.

      1. pgl

        No – BruceButt owes me a ton of rent but the mentally challenged little boy has no money. Time to evict you – good luck fending off your fellow homeless bums.

  3. pgl

    Eric Kramer catches Tyler Cowen cherry picking and lying about what the CBO said on the minimum wage:

    Yes Tyler is only repeating the same lie from Bruce Hall and Princeton Steve. But neither one of these really dumb and incredibly dishonest internet trolls are economists. Cowen is. Eric puts it this way:

    We can debate whether to raise the minimum wage, how far, whether to use wage subsidies or a negative income tax, etc. But debate is difficult when one side refuses to participate in good faith. Furthermore, when right-wing economists spread obvious half-truths to bolster the case for their preferred but unpopular policies they undermine trust in the economics profession as a whole. This makes it more difficult for economists to get a hearing when they have something important to say. I really don’t know what Cowen thinks he is accomplishing by doing this.

    1. Bruce Hall

      Estimates are … well, estimates. From that right-wing rag, The Washington Post:

      The Congressional Budget Office on Monday weighed in with its own assessment of the Raise the Wage Act, the vehicle in Congress for Biden’s proposal. The CBO found 17 million workers, or 10 percent of the projected labor force, would get higher pay. The cumulative pay of directly and potentially affected workers would increase, on net, by $333 billion. Meanwhile, the number of people in poverty would be reduced by 900,000 by 2025. But another 1.4 million workers, just under 1 percent, would lose their jobs, with about half dropping out of the labor force by 2025, the CBO said — backing the economists concerned about possible job loss.

      The reduction in employment would slightly reduce the nation’s gross domestic product, the CBO concluded, but there is uncertainty in the projections. There is a 33 percent chance the impact on jobs was between zero and 1 million workers — and a 33 percent chance the job loss would be between 1 million and 2.7 million workers.

      “Higher wages would increase the cost to employers of producing goods and services,” the CBO said. “Employers would pass some of those increased costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices, and those higher prices, in turn, would lead consumers to purchase fewer goods and services. Employers would consequently produce fewer goods and services, and as a result, they would tend to reduce their employment of workers at all wage levels.”

      The virtuous or vicious cycle?

      1. Menzie Chinn Post author

        Bruce Hall: You have a link to the underlying CBO report – why quote from the WSJ article when the CBO report quite ably summarizes the results?

        1. pgl

          He says he is quoting the Washington Post not the Wall Street Journal but who knows as I guess he choose not to provide a link once again. His lack of integrity on just about everything may be one reason.

        2. Moses Herzog

          Here is the article Bruce was referencing. He was obviously being sarcastic. I’m not trying to be snarky here, I honestly don’t get the point Bruce was trying to make. Drop in employment and GDP?? Happy to be enlightened, won’t be the first time I missed the semi-obvious gist of something.

          The portion Bruce lifts is in the latter portion of the article.

      2. pgl

        Can you not open the link to the actual CBO report or what? At least you managed a wee bit more cherry picked data than the last dishonest and stupid reading of yours.

  4. ltr

    October, 1993

    Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
    By David Card & Alan B. Krueger


    On April 1, 1992 New Jersey’s minimum wage increased from $4.25 to $5.05 per hour. To evaluate the impact of the law we surveyed 410 fast food restaurants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania before and after the rise in the minimum. Comparisons of the changes in wages, employment, and prices at stores in New Jersey relative to stores in Pennsylvania (where the minimum wage remained fixed at $4.25 per hour) yield simple estimates of the effect of the higher minimum wage. Our empirical findings challenge the prediction that a rise in the minimum reduces employment. Relative to stores in Pennsylvania, fast food restaurants in New Jersey increased employment by 13 percent. We also compare employment growth at stores in New Jersey that were initially paying high wages (and were unaffected by the new law) to employment changes at lower-wage stores. Stores that were unaffected by the minimum wage had the same employment growth as stores in Pennsylvania, while stores that had to increase their wages increased their employment.

    [ David Card described * the personal disdain experienced at the University of Chicago in the wake of this paper. Understanding the nature of the disdain, would be important for contemporary researchers.

    * ]

    1. pgl

      “A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry”

      Right there in the title and Princeton Stevie cannot see it? He keeps talking about how perfectly competitive the labor market for fast food places is. Of course Bruce Hall thinks this is over a quarter of century old and times have changed – never mind all that more recent research that shows market power persists.

          1. pgl

            It is. He makes this egregious errors in blog post but Bruce Hall for some reason thinks cartoons on Facebook is on the same par as an empirical analysis published in the AER!

    2. Barkley Rosser

      Context on this is that indeed prior to the Card and Krueger study it was completely textbook and all but universally accepted among professional economists that an increase in the minimum wage would certainly tend to reduce employment, although by how much was always much debated. But that it might actually lead to an increase in employment was something considered essentially unimaginable and impossible. it really shook things up with many indeed getting quite upset.

      As it is, none of the current projections have an increase to $15/hour nationally to lead to an increase in unemployment. But some studies suggest that there may be essentially zero loss of employment, with clearly a range of estimates out there, and opponents of the increase stressing the maximum estimates.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        BTW, again on CK, and looking at the careful review by Manning that Menzie posted earlier, there were some flaws in the Card-Kreuger paper that led to a lot of huffing and puffing over the next several years. But in the end it now seems pretty solidly established that after one corrects for their flaws, their main findings still hold qualitatively.

        1. pgl

          But Bruce Hall says their evidence is from a long time ago and he knows that the relevant markets are very different. Of course he cannot say how or why they are different. And of course recent studies show similar results as this old AER classic.

        2. Barkley Rosser

          Whoops! Meant to say nobody now saying increasing min wage will lead to an increase in employment a la Card and Krueger. But I guess most readers figured out that was what I meant. Sorry about that, my bad.

  5. ltr

    February 9, 2021



    Cases   ( 27,799,946)
    Deaths   ( 479,772)


    Cases   ( 10,858,300)
    Deaths   ( 155,280)


    Cases   ( 3,972,148)
    Deaths   ( 113,850)


    Cases   ( 3,360,235)
    Deaths   ( 80,147)


    Cases   ( 2,302,051)
    Deaths   ( 63,271)


    Cases   ( 1,936,013)
    Deaths   ( 166,731)


    Cases   ( 810,797)
    Deaths   ( 20,909)


    Cases   ( 89,720)
    Deaths   ( 4,636)

  6. ltr

    February 9, 2021

    Coronavirus   (Deaths per million)

    UK   ( 1,672)
    US   ( 1,444)
    Mexico   ( 1,285)
    France   ( 1,226)

    Germany   ( 754)
    Canada   ( 551)
    India   ( 112)
    China   ( 3)

    Notice the ratios of deaths to coronavirus cases are 8.6%, 2.9% and 2.4% for Mexico, the United Kingdom and France respectively.

  7. ltr

    February 10, 2021

    Chinese mainland reports no new local COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland recorded no new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases for the third day on Tuesday, data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, 14 new cases from overseas were recorded on Tuesday, according to the NHC.

    No new deaths related to COVID-19 were registered and 102 patients were discharged from hospitals.

    A total of 7 new asymptomatic cases were recorded, while 555 asymptomatic patients remained under medical observation.

    The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland has reached 89,734, and the death toll stands at 4,636.

    Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases

    Chinese mainland new imported cases

    Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases

  8. pgl

    Trump’s lawyers yesterday pulled several Bruce Hall / Steve Koptis tricks. Long winded meaningless BS, misrepresenting the Constitution, misrepresenting why Speaker Pelosi had to wait to deliver the charges to the Senate, and best of all misrepresenting the writing of Profess Brian Kalt:

    Hey liars are going to lie!

  9. joseph

    The CBO report says that the $15 minimum wage would reduce the number of people in poverty by 0.9 million.

    Very simple question for Kopits. Why do you want to keep people poor?

    1. pgl

      Well he might care if white people were poor but if a black or a Hispanic were poor – he would say that was fine as long as employers were free to do what they want.

  10. ltr

    Latin American countries have recorded 4 of the 13 highest and 6 of the 24 highest number of coronavirus cases among all countries.  Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Peru and Chile.

    Mexico, with more than 1.9 million cases recorded, has the 4th highest number of cases among Latin American countries and the 13th highest number of cases among all countries.  Peru, with more than 1.1 million cases, has the 5th highest number of cases among Latin American countries and the 18th highest number among all countries.

    Mexico was the 4th among all countries to have recorded more than 100,000 and now more than 160,000 coronavirus deaths.

    February 9, 2021

    Coronavirus   (Deaths per million)

    US   ( 1,444) *

    Brazil   ( 1,094)
    Colombia   ( 1,103)
    Argentina   ( 1,091)
    Mexico   ( 1,285)
    Peru   ( 1,277)

    Chile   ( 993)
    Ecuador   ( 847)
    Bolivia   ( 923)
    Panama   ( 1,270)
    Costa Rica   ( 527)

    * Descending number of cases

  11. SecondLook

    I wonder if there has ever been a study looking at productivity and value of employee retention among low-income workers, i.e does a marginally higher wage have positive effects on those two factors.
    It could be illuminating, and able to be quantifiable enough to soothe the brow of any econometrician.

  12. Moses Herzog

    I tell you, people can accuse me of many things on this blog, which may or may not be true, but I pretty much say whatever is going on in this mind of mine. I can tell you while I watch this footage during the impeachment case, I am feeling extreme anger. And here is one thing people need to think about. Not only did donald trump send this insane illiterate mob to the U.S. Capitol building, he impeded and suppressed the National Guard from protecting the people in that building. And the question I have (not really a question because I KNOW the answer. What would Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul have to say if it was themselves or a member of their family that had been beaten to death like some of the Capitol Police were?? We wouldn’t be discussing any chance of this orange bastard ever running for political office again, he’d be in a federal prison right now

    I don’t want ANY Republicans EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER EVER telling me about “conservatism” “family values” and “treasuring life” again. Because if you can stomach this shit form your nation’s leader, you might as well call yourselves anarchists and get ready for the fires of HELL when you die~~~because that is where you’re going sure as the sun rises tomorrow, you’re going to Hell if you can support that. And if you can support donald trump and these ANIMALS, I just wish I could watch as an external spectator.with my own eyes when the fires of Hell consume you.

    1. pgl

      I realize TPM is not your favorite source but be patient as this is yet another discussion of the little weasel from South Carolina (Lindsey Graham) with a nice twist in the comment section:

      One person notes he was talking to his brother who is politically tuned and apparently lives in Boston. The brother speculated whether Lindsey was gay. Which may explain a story I read this morning on how Senator Graham never married. Nothing against gay people but may Trump has threatened to out weasel Lindsey.

      1. Moses Herzog

        I wasn’t aware of that. That is actually quite interesting. I actually don’t care about how he tilts on his life-partner preferences. If Graham came out as gay tomorrow morning, I might even respect him more than I do now (given, there’s no room to go but up). I admire many of them on other grounds (for example Andrew Sullivan I used to read quite a lot). What bothers me is when they pretend (as Republican homosexuals often do) to look down on the lifestyle, and even sometimes passing legislation which hurts the same group they belong to (Larry Craig is one who fits into this strange category, there have been quite few others, usually Republican). Graham is overly pragmatic. This is what gets me, on top of the fact he lies and changes his positions on important issues on the turn of a dime.

      2. Moses Herzog

        @ pgl
        I didn’t read all the comments, just the first grouping after you click on it (TPM), I think I saw the specific comment you referenced. It is kid of interesting. I feel kind of stupid the thought hadn’t occurred to me much, other than his voice maybe hints at it. The stereotype (fair or not) is the lisp kind of thing that Truman Capote and David Sedaris kind of have. Graham has a little bit of that stereotype sound in his voice (it’s very unfair I guess, but speaking for myself I can’t deny my mind goes there sometimes when hearing some men talk). I guess I just immediately wrote the possibility off in my mind because I figured there’s no way Southerners would vote for him if there was even a hint of that there. Do I think Graham is/was being blackmailed?? If I had the wager, I would say 60% I don’t think Graham is being blackmailed. But the phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State really can kind of set the imagination going. Why go so far as to phone the Georgia Secretary of State~~that is very odd behavior, and helps who?? It doesn’t help Graham to make that phone call~~all Graham gets out of it is risk and possible criminal charges. So those are the type things that somewhat rightfully feed rumors.

        1. Moses Herzog

          @ pgl
          Another thing Graham has, and a lot of gay men have, this feminine characteristic of wanting to inject unnecessary drama into things (you can call that “sexist” if you like). Remember his weird oratory on Supreme Court nominee (nominee at the time) Kavanaugh?? very odd type behavior, and if I thought about it long enough I could probably think of at least 4 other examples of that Graham has done. Now people can argue that’s boilerplate or “very standard” for political showboating. But again, it seems to speak of certain personal inclinations Graham has, from my view of it—which obviously here most of these things are very subjective views and not based on much fact. Just being honest on my “take” on it.

      3. Willie

        He should just come out of the closet and be done with it. That way nobody will have anything to use against him like that. Unless there’s something that’s actually damning in his past that Trump or somebody got hold of. That would explain some of his behavior and the bizarre comments that the trial will turn people toward Trump and away from impeachment.

      4. Moses Herzog

        UPDATE: I just talked with an elderly prof in the Harrisonburg VA area. He says, the only true way to know what is going on with “LadyG” of South Carolina is to check Quora.

  13. ltr

    February 10, 2021

    Monetary policy and racial inequality
    By Alina Kristin Bartscher, Moritz Kuhn, Moritz Schularick and Paul Wachtel

    Racial income and wealth gaps in the US are large and persistent. Central bankers and politicians have recently suggested that monetary policy may be used to reduce these inequalities. This column investigates the distributional effects of monetary policy in a unified framework, linking monetary policy shocks both to earnings and wealth differentials between black and white households. Over multi-year horizons, it finds that while accommodative monetary policy tends to reduce racial unemployment and thus earnings differentials, it exacerbates racial wealth differentials, which implies an important trade-off for policymakers.

  14. ltr


    The Tragedy of Macbeth
    By William Shakespeare

    Act V. Scene V.

    Dunsinane. Within the castle.

        Enter MACBETH, SEYTON, and Soldiers, with drum and colours


        The queen, my lord, is dead.


        She should have died hereafter;
        There would have been a time for such a word.
        To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
        Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
        To the last syllable of recorded time,
        And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
        The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
        Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
        That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
        And then is heard no more: it is a tale
        Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
        Signifying nothing.

    1. ltr

      By chance, I heard a prominent journalist attribute the lines from Macbeth to Faulkner. Later, I heard the same attribution from another journalist. Evidently the point was to laugh at a Senator who had correctly used the lines. The careless imitation of each other by widely heard journalists bothered me.

      1. 2slugbaits

        ltr Sen. Cruz quoted Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Faulkner wrote “The Sound of Fury”. Andrea Mitchell confused the two. She admitted her mistake and corrected the record. When Sen. Cruz misspeaks he simply doubles down and never admits an error. Kind of a difference. BTW, my guess is that most of Trump’s base hasn’t read either Shakespeare or Faulkner.

        1. pgl

          Cruz? The fellow who thought Dr. Seuss’s classic Green Eggs and Ham meant people would hate Obamacare once they tried it? Of course most little kiddies read this tale to the end and know the opposite conclusion should have been drawn.

          Yes Princeton educated but cannot even finish a Dr. Seuss tale!

  15. Moses Herzog

    Larry Flynt passed away Wednesday. He did a lot to help galvanize free speech and was against the death penalty of the man who paralyzed him.

    I think Larry Flynt was more of a humanitarian than he got credit for (or ever will get credit for). Would you argue for the guy who took away your ability to use your legs and walk, to keep his life and progress himself with the time he had left?? I can pretty certainly tell you I would not.

    You can argue that Larry Flynt was “amoral”. You can make a strong argument Larry Flynt was a “misogynist”. You cannot argue, that Larry Flynt was as American as American gets.

    @ Menzie, I am reading Dube/Lindner and maybe even Steinbaum too. I’m semi-confident I can get Dube read clear to the last page before Kopits does, so don’t give up on your worst student yet, ok??

  16. Moses Herzog

    BTW, the most fascinating part of that video interview, is around the 9:38 mark, and can tell you something that a lot of people don’t “get”. Standing alone and being the only one in your entire grade level (4th grade??) supporting Walter Mondale can be a lonely place.

  17. pgl

    Hitler issued the Nero Decree on March 19, 1945. Fortunately for Germany it was not carried out:

    On January 6, 2021 Donald Trump ordered an attack on the Capitol, which alas was carried out.

    But Trump sycophants the Senate are saying the presentation of clear and compelling evidence that Trump inspired a terrorist mob is a waste of time. You know the next time Lindsey Graham tries to lecture us on the rule of law, let’s all spit in his face.

  18. ltr

    February 10, 2021



    Cases   ( 27,897,214)
    Deaths   ( 483,200)


    Cases   ( 10,871,060)
    Deaths   ( 155,399)


    Cases   ( 3,985,161)
    Deaths   ( 114,851)


    Cases   ( 3,385,622)
    Deaths   ( 80,443)


    Cases   ( 2,311,297)
    Deaths   ( 63,979)


    Cases   ( 1,946,751)
    Deaths   ( 168,432)


    Cases   ( 813,982)
    Deaths   ( 21,004)


    Cases   ( 89,734)
    Deaths   ( 4,636)

  19. ltr

    February 10, 2021

    Coronavirus   (Deaths per million)

    UK   ( 1,686)
    US   ( 1,455)
    Mexico   ( 1,298)
    France   ( 1,231)

    Germany   ( 762)
    Canada   ( 554)
    India   ( 112)
    China   ( 3)

    Notice the ratios of deaths to coronavirus cases are 8.7%, 2.9% and 2.4% for Mexico, the United Kingdom and France respectively.

  20. ltr–XMMNhk6Tgk/index.html

    February 11, 2021

    Chinese mainland reports 2 new COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland recorded 2 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, both from overseas, data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed on Thursday.

    No new locally-transmitted cases reported on Wednesday. Meanwhile, 92 patients were discharged from hospitals.

    A total of 16 new asymptomatic cases were recorded, while 521 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

    The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland has reached 89,736, and the death toll stands at 4,636. No new deaths related to COVID-19 were registered on Wednesday.

    Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases–XMMNhk6Tgk/img/23410434495d427385f37991ec7ee345/23410434495d427385f37991ec7ee345.jpeg

    Chinese mainland new imported cases–XMMNhk6Tgk/img/7c0a9699c72040a79a75cf3dd999ce6f/7c0a9699c72040a79a75cf3dd999ce6f.jpeg

    Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases–XMMNhk6Tgk/img/51f778b7e63f4ff0983cd4ec1acdff10/51f778b7e63f4ff0983cd4ec1acdff10.jpeg

    1. Dr. Dysmalist

      If they want this liberal to be utterly, totally owned, they should really do this. They will feel such a tremendous sense of triumph if they do this. Oh, just think how victorious they’ll feel! They’ll soon get sick of all the winning!

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