Natural experiments from Washington State?

Washington already has the highest state minimum wage in the country, at $9.19 an hour. Soon, voters in this tiny city south of Seattle will decide whether to push the local minimum even higher.

If a majority of the voters here say yes to a referendum known as Proposition 1 when their mail-in ballots start arriving this week, a minimum wage of $15 an hour would be required for many businesses in SeaTac, more than twice the federal minimum of $7.25.

There is more here.  Of course doing this in a single locality is the least advantageous setting for such a policy experiment.  That said, the Sea-Tac airport (and associated concerns) is by far the biggest employer in the city and that entity may well face inelastic consumer demand in response to higher prices, provided those price hikes can be collectively enforced across all the sellers in the airport, which is indeed what a minimum wage hike would bring.


Comments for this post are closed