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Initial Findings From the Seattle Minimum Wage Study: UCCS/ESSPRI Collaboration on Childhood Poverty

David Neumark, UC Irvine, Jacob Vigdor, UW, Heather Hill, UW, UCCS/ESSPRI Collaboration on Childhood Poverty

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Nov 17, 2016
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM


1130 K Street, Room LL3

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Two investigators from the Seattle Minimum Wage Study (SMWS)—a comprehensive, multi-year evaluation of the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance passed in June 2014—will present an overview of the initial findings from the first year of the policy. The law went into effect in April 2015, with a minimum wage of $10 or $11 depending on the size of the employer and whether the employer provides health insurance. The mandate covers nearly all workers in the City of Seattle, regardless of where the employer is headquartered.  The wage rate is scheduled to increase incrementally every January through 2021 and is tied to inflation thereafter.  The SMWS includes four main components: 1) a longitudinal survey of employers in Seattle; 2) a longitudinal, qualitative study of workers in Seattle; 3) Washington State administrative data on earnings, hours, and public assistance; 4) price data collection.  The presentation will cover the initial results from all four components, including descriptive analysis of employer and worker perspectives, as well as quasi-experimental estimates of the policy effects on the labor market.


Heather D. Hill is an associate professor in the Evans School. Her research examines how public and workplace policies influence family economic circumstances and child wellbeing in low-income families. She brings an inter-disciplinary lens to these topics, integrating theoretical and methodological insights from developmental psychology, economics, and sociology. As one of seven Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Scholars funded by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Hill is currently examining how state-level safety net rules affect family earnings and income stability.


Jacob L. Vigdor joined the Evans School as a professor of public policy and governance in Autumn Quarter 2014. He arrived at the University of Washington following 15 years of service on the faculty of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Professor Vigdor holds affiliations as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, and an external fellow at the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College London.

Professor Vigdor and Professor Hill PowerPoint presentation.

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Please click here for the policy brief.


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