Seattle tried to prebut minimum-wage study

Jon and Terry covered the major findings of a new paper by a team at University of Washington that included Jacob Vigdor, who previously spent 15 years at the Sanford School.

If you read the New York Times story on the paper, you may have noticed that labor and workplace reporter Noam Scheiber, who used to write essays as senior editor for the New Republic, took some time to get to the paper and then focused more on its critics than on its findings.

Before he got there, Scheiber first described a paper by a team at Berkeley that came out last week, “supports the conclusion of numerous studies before it, that increasing the minimum wage up to a level that is about half or less of an area’s typical wage leads to at most a small reduction in employment.” Scheiber offered no critical comments of that paper or its methodology, nor did he mention

Scheiber offered no critical comments of that paper or its methodology, nor did he mention how the Berkely paper came out conveniently before the Washington paper, but Dan Person wrote in Seattle Weekly

To review, the timeline seems to have gone like this: The UW shares with City Hall an early draft of its study showing the minimum wage law is hurting the workers it was meant to help; the mayor’s office shares the study with researchers known to be sympathetic toward minimum wage laws, asking for feedback; those researchers release a report that’s high on Seattle’s minimum wage law just a week before the negative report comes out.

Seattle’s mayor has to be pleased to have the New York Time flacking for him in the business section.

Joseph Coletti / Senior Fellow, Fiscal Studies

Joe Coletti is a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation focused on fiscal policy issues. He previously headed the North Carolina Government Efficiency and Reform initiativ...