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CWED: A Symposium to Celebrate a Decade of Important Minimum Wage Research

December 8, 2017

It has been ten years since the creation of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics (CWED), housed in the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE). Since then, CWED has become well-known for its trailblazing academic and policy research on a number of important economic issues, including the effects of the Great Recession, public sector workers, low-wage labor markets and, most notably, minimum and subminimum wage impacts.

To mark the occasion, IRLE and CWED are organizing a one-day symposium, CWED: Celebrating a Decade of Important Policy Research. The symposium will chronicle CWED’s beginnings; highlight its most influential employment impact studies and its prospective studies on the effects of $15 minimum wage increases; and then turn the spotlight on to new methods in minimum wage research and the downstream effects of minimum wages on children’s and workers’ well-being. We will close with a discussion of where CWED will go in its next ten years.

Recent Symposium

Friday, December 8, 2017 8:30 AM – 6 PM


[tab title=”Agenda”]



Sandra Smith (Interim Director, IRLE and Professor of Sociology at UCB)
Michael Reich and Sylvia Allegretto (Co-Chairs, CWED)

Panel 1: CWED’s innovative methods and the new consensus

Panel 1 video Video
Chair: Michael Reich (CWED)
Arindrajit Dube (UMass Amherst): Highlights from CWED’s most influential impact studies
Arindrajit’s presentation PDF
Sylvia Allegretto (CWED): Synthetic control analyses of local minimum wages
Sylvia’s presentation PDF
Ben Zipperer (EPI): Minimum wage effects using the bunching estimator
Ben’s presentation PDF
Discussant: Laura Giuliano (UCM), Ian Perry (Center for Labor Research and Education)
Ian’s presentation PDF

Panel 2: CWED’s policy impact

Panel 2 video Video
Chair: Carl Nadler (Postdoctoral Scholar, CWED)
Ken Jacobs (Chair, Center for Labor Research and Education): Living wages at airports
Ken’s presentation PDF
Michael Reich (CWED): Modeling the effects of a $15 federal minimum wage
Michael’s presentation PDF
Claire Montialoux (Stanford and CREST): What are the effects of high minimum wages in the US?
Claire’s presentation PDF
Discussants: Emmanuel Saez (UCB), Larry Mishel (EPI)
Emmanuel’s presentation PDF

Lunch talk: The four noble truths (about getting to and staying at full employment)

Lunch talk video Video
Jared Bernstein (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)
Jared’s presentation PDF

Panel 3: Other adjustment channels; downstream effects on children

Panel 3 video Video
Chair: Anna Godoy (Postdoctoral Scholar, CWED)
William Spriggs (Howard University): Upgrading skill use of incumbent workers in low-wage industries
William’s presentation PDF
Lindsey Bullinger (Indiana): Money matters: Does the minimum wage affect child maltreatment rates?
Lindsey’s presentation PDF
Will Dow (Berkeley): Improving child health
Will’s presentation PDF
Discussants: Arindrajit Dube (UMass Amherst), Rachel West (Center for American Progress)
Arindrajit’s presentation PDF
Rachel’s presentation PDF

Discussion: Beyond Minimum Wages: What next for CWED?

Discussion video Video
Moderator: Sandra Smith
Arindrajit Dube, Laura Giuliano, Rachel West, Larry Mishel (EPI), Emmanuel Saez (Berkeley)

Closing remarks: Sylvia Allegretto (CWED)

[tab title=”Speakers”]

[accordion title=”Michael Reich (Co-Chair, CWED)” load=”hide”]
Co-Chair, CWED

Michael Reich is Professor of Economics and Co-Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) of the University of California at Berkeley. He served as Director of IRLE from 2004 to 2015. Reich received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard. His research publications cover numerous areas of labor economics and political economy, including the economics of racial inequality, the analysis of labor market segmentation, historical stages in U.S. labor markets and social structures of accumulation, high performance workplaces, union-management cooperation, Japanese labor-management systems, living wages and minimum wages.

[accordion title=”Sylvia Allegretto (Co-Chair, CWED)” load=”hide”]
Co-Chair, CWED

Sylvia Allegretto is a labor economist and co-chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the University of California, Berkeley. CWED is a research center housed at the Institute for Researcher on Labor and Employment. Dr. Allegretto received her Ph. D. in economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder and worked for several years at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington DC where she is currently a research associate. Allegretto co-authored several editions of The State of Working America and she most recently authored The State of Working America’s Wealth, 2011. Research interests include long-term unemployment, family budgets, teacher pay, public employee compensation, low-wage labor markets, inequality, minimum wages and sub-minimum wages received by tipped workers. Sylvia closely tracks a myriad of economic statistics with particular interest in the labor market and how typical workers are faring. She is often called upon by media outlets to provide commentary and contextualize economic data and trends.

[accordion title=”Jared Bernstein (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)” load=”hide”]
Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Jared Bernstein joined the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in May 2011 as a Senior Fellow. From 2009 to 2011, Bernstein was the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, Executive Director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and a member of President Obama’s economic team.
Bernstein’s areas of expertise include federal and state economic and fiscal policies, income inequality and mobility, trends in employment and earnings, international comparisons, and the analysis of financial and housing markets.

Prior to joining the Obama administration, Bernstein was a senior economist and the director of the Living Standards Program at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.
Between 1995 and 1996, he held the post of Deputy Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor.

He is the author and coauthor of numerous books for both popular and academic audiences, including “Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People,” “Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed?,” nine editions of “The State of Working America,” and his latest book, “The Reconnection Agenda: Reuniting Growth and Prosperity.” Bernstein has published extensively in various venues, including The New York Times, Washington Post, and the Financial Times. He is an on-air commentator for the cable stations CNBC and MSNBC, contributes to The Washington Post’s PostEverything blog, and hosts On The Economy (jaredbernsteinblog.com).
[accordion title=”Lindsey Bullinger (Indiana University)” load=”hide”]
PhD Candidate, Indiana University

Lindsey Bullinger is a PhD candidate at Indiana University with research interests in social, family, poverty, and inequality policy. Her research examines how public policies affect children and families’ health and well-being, especially low-income families. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Contemporary Economic Policy, Children and Youth Services Review, Health Services Research, and the American Journal of Public Health, and has been funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, and Pew Charitable Trusts.
[accordion title=”Will Dow (University of California, Berkeley)” load=”hide”]
Kaiser Permanente Endowed Chair in Health Policy Management

Will Dow is an IRLE Faculty Affiliate and Advisory Board member. His research interests include health economics, global health, and economic demography.
[accordion title=”Arindrajit Dube (UMass Amherst)” load=”hide”]
Associate Professor Economics, UMass Amherst

Dube’s work work focuses on labor economics, health economics, public finance, and political economy. Some of his current areas of research include minimum wage policies on employment, inequality and business performance; effects of unions and collective bargaining; nature of competition in the labor market and the role of search frictions; impact of fiscal policy; and the impact of fairness concerns at the workplace. He received his B.A. in Economics and M.A. in Development Policy from Stanford University, and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago. He is also currently a research fellow at IZA.

[accordion title=”Laura Giuliano (University of California, Merced)” load=”hide”]
Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, Merced

Laura Giuliano studies education, bias and segregation, and academic achievement gaps.
[accordion title=”Anna Godoy (CWED)” load=”hide”]
Postdoctoral Scholar, CWED
[accordion title=”Ken Jacobs (Center for Labor Research and Education – The Labor Center)” load=”hide”]
Ken Jacobs is the chair of the Labor Center, where he has been a labor specialist since 2002.

His areas of specialization include low-wage work, labor standards policies, and health care coverage. He has recently worked on economic impact studies of proposed minimum wage laws for the cities of Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Jose, and conducted analyses of the public cost of low-wage work. Jacobs is the co-editor, with Michael Reich and Miranda Dietz, of When Mandates Work: Raising Labor Standards at the Local Level (University of California Press), an edited volume on the impacts of labor standards policies in San Francisco. Jacobs leads a multi-campus program providing research and technical assistance to consumer stakeholders and policy makers on the effects of the Affordable Care Act and measures to cover the remaining uninsured in California. Along with colleagues at UC Berkeley and UCLA, he is consulting for Covered California on issues related to ACA implementation. His work has been covered in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and National Public Radio.[/accordion]
[accordion title=”Larry Mishel (Economic Policy Institute)” load=”hide”]
President, Economic Policy Institute

Lawrence Mishel, a nationally recognized economist, is president of the Economic Policy Institute, a role he assumed in 2002. Mishel first joined EPI in 1987 as research director. In the more than two decades he has been with EPI, Mishel has helped build it into the nation’s premier research organization focused on U.S. living standards and labor markets.

Mishel’s primary research interests include labor markets and education. He has written extensively on wage and job quality trends in the United States. He co-edited a research volume on emerging labor market institutions for the National Bureau of Economic Research. His 1988 research on manufacturing data led the U.S. Commerce Department to revise the way it measures U.S. manufacturing output. This new measure helped accurately document the long decline in U.S. manufacturing, a trend that is now widely understood.

[accordion title=”Claire Montialoux (Stanford and CREST)” load=”hide”]
Claire Montialoux is a Graduate Visiting Researcher at Stanford University. Her research focuses on low-wage workers and the effectiveness of back-to-work programs. She was formerly a researcher with CWED, where she wrote on the economic effects of raising the minimum wage to $15 in New York state, and the California cities of San Jose and Santa Clara. Montialoux has worked at the French Treasury, MDRC, and Frontier Economics. She holds a masters degree in statistics from ENSAE Paris Tech and a masters degree in economics from the Paris School of Economics.

[accordion title=”Carl Nadler (CWED)” load=”hide”]
Postdoctoral Scholar, CWED

Carl Nadler is a labor economist and postdoctoral scholar at the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics (CWED) at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, where he works on research related to the minimum wage. Prior to joining CWED, Carl was an associate at Cornerstone Research. He received a PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016.

[accordion title=”Ian Perry (Center for Labor Research and Education – The Labor Center)” load=”hide”]
Research and Policy Associate, The Labor Center

Ian Perry is a research and policy associate at the Labor Center. He focuses on low-wage and health care policy research. Prior to joining the Labor Center, he worked as a research assistant at M.I.T. focusing on the design and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and for an economic consulting firm. He received a Master of Public Policy degree from the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy in 2017, and bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University in 2009.


[accordion title=”Emmanuel Saez (University of California, Berkeley)” load=”hide”]
Chancellor’s Professorship of Tax Policy and Public Finance, Director, Center for Equitable Growth

Emmanuel Saez is the Director of the Center for Equitable Growth at the University of California at Berkeley. He received his PhD in Economics from MIT in 1999. He was Assistant Professor of Economics at Harvard University from 1999 to 2002, before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2002. He is currently editor of the Journal of Public Economics and co-director of the Public Policy Program at CEPR. He was awarded the John Bates Clark medal of the American Economic Association in 2009. His main areas of research are centered around taxation, redistribution, and inequality, both from a theoretical and empirical perspective.

[accordion title=”Sandra Smith (Interim Director, IRLE and Professor of Sociology at University of California, Berkeley)” load=”hide”]
Interim Director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) and professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley

Sandra Smith focuses on questions of urban poverty and joblessness, social capital and social networks, racial inequality, and trust. Her first book, Lone Pursuit: Distrust and Defensive Individualism among the Black Poor (Russell Sage Foundation) advances current and enduring debates about black joblessness, highlighting the role of interpersonal distrust dynamics between low-income black jobholders and their job-seeking relations that make cooperation during the process of finding work a problematic affair. She more fully engages questions about the cultural underpinnings of social capital mobilization during the job-matching process, in her forthcoming book, Want, Need, Fit: Cultural Logics of Job-Matching Assistance. Smith’s work on this topic has also been widely published in journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, the Annual Review of Sociology, Racial and Ethnic Studies, Social Science Research, Work and Occupations, and The Sociological Quarterly.

[accordion title=”William Spriggs (Howard University)” load=”hide”]
Professor of Economics, Howard University

Bill Spriggs became Chair of the Department, and a professor, of Economics at Howard University in Washington, DC in December 2005. Before that, Bill was at the Economic Policy Institute as senior fellow, having returned there in 2004. Starting in July 2006, he also serves as Chair of the Independent Health Care Trust for UAW Retirees of Ford Motor Company, and is on the board of the Retiree Health Administration Corporation which administers the health care trusts for UAW retirees of Ford and General Motors.

From 1988 to 2004, he was Executive Director of the National Urban League’s Institute for Opportunity and Equality, where among other duties he was editor of the State of Black America 1999, and led research on pay equity that won the NUL the 2001 Winn Newman Award from the National Committee on Pay Equity. As a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, Bill was the co-chair of the 2003 NASI conference that produced the volume, Strengthening Community: Social Insurance in a Diverse America.

In 2004, with several of his Washington-based civil rights advocate colleagues, Bill was awarded the Congressional Black Caucus Chairman’s Award by then CBC Chair Elijah Cummings. On behalf of the NUL, Bill gave congressional testimony on how various policies would affect Black and low-income communities, and participated in the UN World Conference Against Racism, Xenophobia and Related Forms of Intolerance, where he contributed language adopted in the Programme of Action relating to documenting racial disparities and incorporating closing racial disparities within efforts to achieve the Copenhagen goals for World Social Development.

Before working at the National Urban League, Bill held various positions in government service during the Clinton Administration: in 1993 and 1994 he led the staff of the National Commission for Employment Policy, and in 1997 and 1998 he worked at the Department of Commerce, where he worked on the federal response to the Adarand v. Pena decision, crafting the guidelines for the federal Small Disadvantage Business program that successfully addressed the Courts’ concerns in the Adarand case, and at the Small Business Administration. He served as a senior economist for the Democratic staff of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress from 1994 to 1997, where, among other things, he worked on the passage of the increase in the minimum wage and to prevent legislative efforts to roll back affirmative action in federal procurement.

He is a past-board member and President of the National Economic Association—the professional organization of Black economists—currently serves on the policy board of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, and is a Board member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. In 2006 he was elected to the National Academy of Public Administration. He serves as Vice Chair of the Board of the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute, and on the boards of the National Employment Law Project and the National Advisory Council of Corporate Voices for Working Families.

Bill is a member of the Black Enterprise Magazine Board of Economists, and served on the 2002 Time Magazine Board of Economists. He taught six years at Norfolk State University (in Virginia) where he also headed the Honors Program for non-science students, and two years at North Carolina A & T State University (in Greensboro), and has published in both academic and popular journals, and appeared on various television and radio news programs.

[accordion title=”Rachel West (Center for American Progress)” load=”hide”]
Associate Director, Poverty to Prosperity – Center for American Progress

Rachel West is an associate director for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at American Progress. Previously, she was an economic policy researcher at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, where her work focused on minimum-wage policy and public assistance programs. West began her career as an economist at the U.S. Department of Transportation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and worked as a fiscal policy intern at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.
West holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley, Goldman School of Public Policy. She received a bachelor’s degree in economics and physics from Mount Holyoke College in 2008.

[accordion title=”Ben Zipperer (Economic Policy Institute)” load=”hide”]
Economist, Economic Policy Institute

Ben Zipperer joined the Economic Policy Institute in 2016. His areas of expertise include the minimum wage, inequality, and low-wage labor markets. He has published research in the Industrial and Labor Relations Review and has been quoted in outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Bloomberg, and the BBC.

Prior to joining EPI, Ben was research economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. He is a senior research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and a research associate at the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the University of California, Berkeley.

[tab title=”CWED’s Legacy”]

“As someone who’s long been engaged in this debate, I assure you: it is extremely hard to make a muscular, fact-based argument about the impact of minimum wage changes without citing the work of CWED.”
– Jared Bernstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

“CWED has accumulated an impressive body of sound empirical work on the minimum wage and other topics. It is not surprising that the CWED researchers are often consulted by policymakers on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.”
– Lawrence Mishel, Economic Policy Institute

“Some of the most innovative recent studies.”
– David Card and Alan Krueger, 2016 preface to Myth and Measurement referencing Dube, Lester, and Reich 2010 & 2016

“CWED’s 10th anniversary is an auspicious occasion for all who care about working families, a strong economy, and evidence-based policy, and I am glad the Washington Center for Equitable Growth could support this event. Your research on minimum wages has been a critical element in the ongoing national debate over the issue. There is a continuing need for research that helps us understand how best to provide a minimum wage that supports workers and their families and contributes to a strong economy. Equitable Growth looks forward to working with you in your second decade.”
– Heather Boushey, Washington Center for Equitable Growth

“One of the best and most convincing minimum wage papers in recent years.”
– Lawrence Katz, 2010 UC Berkeley Press Release, referencing Dube, Lester, and Reich 2010

“Probably the most plausible set of minimum wage estimates currently available for the United States.”
Nicole Fortin, David A. Green, Thomas Lemieux, Kevin Milligan, W. Craig Riddell, “Canadian Inequality: Recent Developments and Policy Options” (2012) referencing Dube, Lester, and Reich 2010

“Evidence of CWED’s impact comes in many forms.

First is the output of such a tiny research shop. Although CWED has become very well known because of its research on minimum wage impacts and the innovative methods that push the envelope in terms of what we can say about the causal effect of wage increases, CWED’s scholars write on a range of timely and relevant topics of the day, including health insurance and health policy; immigration; labor relations and productivity; tipped worker labor markets; the transformation of retail labor markets; worker turnover and job training; and models of low-wage work.

Further, their findings have been reported in dozens of publications. Roughly 20 articles and book chapters have been published in refereed journals and edited volumes, including Industrial and Labor Relations Review, the Journal of Labor Economics, the Journal of Labor Issues, and Industrial Relations. By my count, CWED scholars have also produced some 25 policy briefs stressing the impact on workers of the changing economic landscape.

The second tangible evidence of CWED’s impact can also be seen in how often its scholars are sought out for technical assistance, especially in estimating the effects of local minimum and subminimum wage increases. Over a dozen organizations have done so, including the City of San Jose, New York State Senate, the City of Seattle, and organizations in Maine, Arizona, Kentucky, and elsewhere.

CWED scholars’ perspectives and research findings are often reported on in the media, including print, radio, and television, and by influential economists and policy analysts who blog. In the last two years alone, CWED has been mentioned roughly three dozen times in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Bloomberg Politics, the SF Chronicle, and other local news outlets. Since 2007, its scholars have made over over 75 radio and TV appearances and been quoted in the press well over 100 times.”
Sandra Smith, Professor of Sociology and Interim Director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment


[tab title=”Papers”]

Panel 1

Arindrajit Dube
Dube, Lester and Reich (2010 and 2016); Allegretto, Dube and Reich (2011); Allegretto, Dube, Reich and Zipperer (2017). All available at: https://irle.berkeley.edu/cwed/scholarly-publications/

Sylvia Allegretto?
Reich, Allegretto and Godoey, “Seattle’s Minimum Wage Experience 2015-16.” https://irle.berkeley.edu/seattles-minimum-wage-experience-2015-16/

Ben Zipperer
Cengiz, Dube, Lindner and Zipperer 2017: http://www.sole-jole.org/17722.pdf

Panel 2

Ken Jacobs
Michael Reich, Peter Hall and Ken Jacobs, 2004. “Living Wage Policies at San Francisco Airport: Impacts on Workers and Businesses.” https://irle.berkeley.edu/living-wage-policies-at-san-francisco-airport-impacts-on-workers-and-businesses/

Michael Reich
?Prospective studies: https://irle.berkeley.edu/cwed/briefs/?

Claire Montialoux?
Prospective studies: https://irle.berkeley.edu/cwed/briefs/?

Panel 3?

Bill Spriggs
Rodgers, William, William Spriggs and William Klein 2004. “Do the Skills of Adults in Minimum Wage Contour Jobs Explain Why They Get Paid Less?” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics https://econpapers.repec.org/article/mespostke/v_3a27_3ay_3a2004_3ai_3a1_3ap_3a38-66.htm

Lindsey Bullinger
Raissian and Bullinger 2017. “Money matters: Does the minimum wage affect child maltreatment rates?” Children and Youth Services Review https://econpapers.repec.org/article/eeecysrev/v_3a72_3ay_3a2017_3ai_3ac_3ap_3a60-70.htm

Will Dow


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[tab title=”Video”]

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