By Jason Snyder, Assistant Professor of Strategy, Anderson School of Business, UCLA
According to the Economist in 2006 “Today’s consensus amongst economists, insofar as there is one, seems to be that raising minimum wages has minor negative effects [on unemployment] at worst”. While a consensus amongst economists is one thing, what the general public believes might be altogether different. On January 29th with the help of Civic Science, INC, we conducted a poll asking “In your opinion, increasing the minimum wage: (A) Increases unemployment, (B) Decreases unemployment, or (C) Doesn’t make much of a difference”. Of a nationally representative sample of 9,047 respondants we found that 47% responded that increasing the minimum wage increased unemployment, 21% responded that the minimum wage increases decreased unemployment, and 32% responded that there was little effect. While we do see some correlation between income and responses, the results are small in magnitude. 56% of Republicans who make less than $25,000 dollars a year responded that minimum wage increases unemployment, while only 21% of Democrats in the same income bracket responded similarly. Even in the realm of facts, partisanship dominates.