Monthly Archives: January 2015

PERI report cited in Al Jazeera America story: Fast food industry could survive $15 minimum wage

Congress could more than double the federal minimum wage without doing serious harm to the fast-food industry, according to a report from economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In a hypothetical scenario in which the minimum wage gradually rose from $7.25 per hour to $15, the authors of the report found that fast-food companies would be able to “fully absorb” the increase without limiting its profit margin.  Read full article: (1/23/15)

Robert Pollin interviewed on what President Obama can do about climate change in the face of Republican opposition

Robert Pollin, economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, is interviewed about what he thinks President Obama can do about climate change and the environment even in the face of opposition from the Republican-controlled Congress. He also says Obama didn’t say much about climate change in his State of the Union speech. (The Real News Network, 1/22/15)

Robert Pollin and Jeannette Wicks-Lim on increasing minimum wage for fast food workers without causing the employment losses and decline in profits cited by critics

Researchers from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at UMass Amherst have released a working paper verifying the ability of American fast food restaurants to more than double the minimum wage of their lowest paid workers to $15 an hour over a four-year period without causing the widespread employment losses and decline in profits often cited by critics of such increases. Using data gathered from previous studies and U.S. Economic Census reports, economists Robert Pollin and Jeannette Wicks-Lim have found that at the standard rate of industry sales growth the savings from a decrease in workforce turnover added to revenue generated from moderate annual 3 percent price increases could support a two-stage increase in the minimum wage from its current level of $7.25, first to $10.50 and then to $15 three years later. (, 1/23/15; NBC News,, 1/22/15; News Office release)


Arin Dube’s research cited in Newsweek story on why some economists argue for an increase in minimum wage

The research of Arindrajit Dube is cited in a news story about why some economists argue that the minimum wage needs to be increased. Dube conducted a study in 2007 that showed when workers in the San Francisco area were given a higher minimum wage they were more likely to stay with their employers. (Newsweek, 1/18/15)


Nancy Folbre comments in story about high cost of having a baby

Nancy Folbre, emerita professor of economics, comments in a story about the high cost of having a baby. She says many couples either buy larger houses before a baby is born or move to a bigger house once the baby arrives. They may also move in order to be in a community with better schools. In both cases, the couple sees housing costs increase as part of having the new child, she says.  (, 1/22/15)