This paper examines the importance of factors that influence a state's decision to adopt an above-federal minimum wage level. Our results indicate that state political leanings are the primary factor explaining differences in state minimum wage laws since 1991. Further, state cost of living differences do not appear to influence a state's decision to increase its minimum wage above the federal level. This result is interesting since proponents of raising the minimum wage cite the rising cost of living as a principal justification for an increase. Our findings should be of special interest to economists responsible for analyzing and forecasting labor cost trends within and among states where their employers operate or plan to relocate.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management
- Economics and Econometrics