Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Multilevel study finds no link between minimum wage, crime rates

Date:
November 18, 2013
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
A new study is a unique examination into whether public policy on the minimum wage can affect the crime rate in the US.

A new study out of the University of Cincinnati is a unique examination into whether public policy on the minimum wage can affect the crime rate.

Related Articles


The study finds that, contrary to conventional belief, increasing the minimum wage will not lower violent crime or property crime. Derek Cohen, an analyst for the Texas Public Policy Foundation and PhD candidate from the nationally top-ranked University of Cincinnati criminal justice program, along with Jay Kennedy, also a doctoral candidate in the UC criminal justice program, and Scott Dannemiller, a UC senior and undergraduate research assistant in the criminal justice program, will present their findings on Nov. 21, at the American Society of Criminology's 69th annual meeting in Atlanta.

The researchers studied official U.S. crime data and economic data from 1977 to 2012 to compare violent crime and property crime rates among states that abided only by the federal minimum wage standards, and the 18 states that had raised their minimum wage requirement at one time or another above the federal mandate.

The minimum wage data came from the U.S. Department of Labor. Researchers also reviewed data from the Consumer Price Index, while state crime data was pulled from the F.B.I.'s Unified Crime Reporting (UCR) program, which holds statistics from law enforcement agencies around the nation.

The researchers were examining the effect on property and crime rates in regard to changes in minimum wage and the Consumer Price Index. Introducing the Consumer Price Index into the analysis factored in purchasing power -- comparing ability to buy goods with what was coming home in a paycheck.

"We were looking at whether we could see a crime trend that moved over time in regard to what we call 'shocks,' changes in policy," explains Cohen. "These shocks impart change, so if there's a trend, the rate-of-change-of-crime should increase or decrease, but ultimately, among the 18 states that had raised the minimum wage, there was no significant change -- in this speculation -- a drop, in violent crime and property crime. If raising the minimum wage is meant to impart a change in crime rates, we should have seen a more pronounced deterrent from crime."

Among the other states that adhered to just the federal minimum wage-set salary, the researchers saw the same pattern. There was no discernible effect for any sort of minimum wage policy, says Cohen.

Researchers used a technique of econometric time series analysis called the autoregressive integrated-moving average (ARIMA) to analyze the large aggregate datasets. The approach allowed researchers to identify variation between states that raised minimum wage beyond the federal standards and states that had stayed with only the federal minimum wage increase.

Based on the analysis, the researchers concluded that crime is fundamentally an individual-level phenomenon; that scholarship on the topic suggests that state-level policy effects are very marginal; and that conceptually, proper specification of a direct-effects model (as a cause or insulator) is likely impossible.

"Minimum wage legislation is divisively political; theoretically, a pure, strong- to strictly-causal model also is impossible," state the researchers.

"Very few researchers are examining this issue from a macro level," says Cohen. "It's a macro level issue that is being thrust into public policy, often under claims of crime prevention, without the justification to do so."

States that had raised the minimum wage above the federal mandate

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cincinnati. The original article was written by Dawn Fuller. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati. "Multilevel study finds no link between minimum wage, crime rates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118103941.htm>.
University of Cincinnati. (2013, November 18). Multilevel study finds no link between minimum wage, crime rates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118103941.htm
University of Cincinnati. "Multilevel study finds no link between minimum wage, crime rates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118103941.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) This is the latest development in an antitrust investigation accusing Google of unfairly prioritizing own products and services in search results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins