June 11, 2014
HUMILITY NEVER HURTS:
An Honest Answer From David Brat (Justin Wolfers, 6/11/14, NY Times)
Posted by Orrin Judd at June 11, 2014 6:08 PMWhen an MSNBC interviewer asked David Brat, the economics professor at Randolph-Macon College who toppled Eric Cantor in a primary challenge Tuesday, whether he opposed the minimum wage, he responded on Wednesday, "Um, I don't have a well-crafted response on that one."The political class is billing it as a gaffe. But Mr. Brat's fellow economists would probably be far more generous.Assessing the evidence on the effects of the minimum wage is a tricky business, and the evidence isn't strong enough to support the certainties that pundits seem to demand.A recent survey of leading economists by the University of Chicago's Initiative on Global Markets makes the point. The survey asked 38 economists -- who run the spectrum from left to right -- whether they agreed that "raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour would make it noticeably harder for low-skilled workers to find employment." Not one of them strongly agreed, and not one strongly disagreed.