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Myth and Measurement Hardcover – February 17, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Card-Krueger work is essentially correct: the minimum wage at levels observed in the United States has had little or no effect on employment. At the minimum, the book has changed the burden of proof in debates over the minimum, from those who stressed the potential distributional benefits of the minimum to those who stress the potential employment losses."--Richard B. Freeman, Journal of Economic Perspectives



"Card and Krueger didn't just question the conventional wisdom; they attacked it in a novel and powerful way. Instead of concocting a mathematical model and `testing' it with advanced statistical techniques, which is what most economists call research, they decided to test the theory in the real world. . . . The work of Card and Krueger was worth a hundred theoretical models in The American Economic Review."--John Cassidy, The New Yorker



"David Card and Alan Krueger have written a book that represents a phenomenal amount of careful and honest research and that will be a classic in the minimum wage literature and also in the broader field of empirical labor economics.... A model of how to do good believable research, this book will be influential for a long time."--Paul Osterman, Industrial and Labor Relations Review



"Clearly, this book should be read by any economist who wants to stay abreast of substantive, high level debates within the profession.... The book already has assumed an important position within the field of labor economics, and significant research in years to come is likely to revolve around its principle thesis."--K. A. Couch, Journal of Economics



". . . the nastiest, most unspeakable perversion of our service-based economy [is] the declining value of the minimum wage. . . . The downward pressure on wages is making this a country where working literally doesn't pay. . . . David Card and Alan Krueger show through meticulously assembled data that increasing minimum pay in the fast-food industry has no discernable effect on the number of jobs, on consumer prices, or even on employee benefits like free meals. . . . Labor markets, like so many other phenomena in the real world, are far from perfect and do not behave according to the theories of defunct economists."--Joe Conason, The New York Observer



"Myth and Measurement . . . traverses its ground in great detail, studying every bump and dip in the landscape. . . . But that's just about what the issue requires. Card and Krueger's conclusion runs so against the grain of mainstream economic thinking, not to mention the present political consensus, that overkill seems quite appropriate. That conclusion, reached through a number of separate studies, is this: The minimum wage not only doesn't kill jobs, it may even stimulate employment. . . . Myth and Measurement should be a very important book. It essentially settles the policy debate on the minimum wage, and the economics profession should spend a good bit of time engaging in profound reflection and in testing some of the field's first principles."--Voice Literary Supplement



"Card and Krueger have written a powerful book underpinned by hard facts. . . . They explode myths and indict the prescriptions of conventional economic thinkers. Few will read this book from cover to cover, but many will quote its conclusions in the months to come."--New Statesman and Society



"A very substantial book. . . . A highly persuasive collection of evidence. . . . An exemplary book."--J.W. Anderson, The Washington Post



"Myth and Measurement may well be the most important labor economics monograph of the 1990s."--Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Industrial and Labor Relations Review



"This book offers the most careful and wide-ranging analysis of the empirical evidence on minimum wages in the United States that any social scientist could ask for."--Richard B. Freeman, Industrial and Labor Relations Review



"Although this book raises very sharp questions about the practice of labor economics, the book itself is terrific. CK's creative careful, and above-the-board empirical work is a model of how to do good believable research and this book will be influential for a long time."--Paul Osterman, Industrial and Labor Relations Review

From the Back Cover


"Most economists believe that minimum wages invariably reduce employment, but are they right? In this compelling analysis of the U.S. minimum wage, Card and Kreuger show that recent increases in the minimum wage had no adverse effect on employment. This pathbreaking book suggests that economists know less about what the invisible hand is up to than they let on."--Richard Freeman, London School of Economics and Harvard University


"Myth and Measurementis an extraordinarily important book. It will rank with seminal works in labor economics, including Gary Becker's Human Capital, Jacob Mincer's Schooling, Earnings, and Experience, Richard Freeman and James Medoff's What Do Unions Do?, and Edmund Phelp's (ed.) Microeconomic Foundations of Employment and Inflation Theory. The book will interest everyone involved in the minimum wage debates, and it will cause economists to question seriously the models they use and how they do empirical research."--Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Cornell University


"The analysis of minimum wage by Card and Krueger is both comprehensive and provocative. It challenges the received wisdom and is certain to be a major influence on all future work on the topic."--James J. Heckman, University of Chicago


"Myth and Measurement is an extraordinarily important book. It will rank with seminal works in labor economics, including Gary Becker's Human Capital, Jacob Miner's Schooling and Earnings, Richard Freeman and James Medoff's What Unions Do?, and Edmund Phelp's (ed.), Microeconomic Foundations of Employment and Inflation Theory. The book will interest everyone involved in the minimum wage debates, and it will cause economists to question seriously the models they use and how they do empirical research."--Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Cornell University


"In Card and Krueger's hands, the collage becomes a dangerous weapon; the idea that employment has fallen significantly in the wake of minimum wage increases is attacked with both new evidence and a careful look at previous studies."--Charles Brown, University of Michigan


"The most professional work ever done on this highly controversial subject."--Richard Layard, London School of Economics


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (February 17, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691043906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691043906
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,361,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
For those of us without formal economics training, Card and Krueger present an easy-to-read alternative view of the minimum wage controvery. They undermine powerfully the long held assumption that minimum wages decrease job opportunities for low wage workers, and elegantly descibe what poor workers have known for years.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rufus Burgess on January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage" is a comprehensive examination of the theoretical foundation and empirical evidence of minimum wage policy. The book consists of: New cross-sectional research, an examination of past research, further analysis of distributional issues, and a new theory of the minimum wage. The book overwhelming uses regression analysis to statistically support the author's positions.

Conventional neoclassical theory posits an increase in the minimum wage will increase the cost of labor, cause a deadweightloss, and increase unemployment. A few workers will benefit. Everyone else will be worse off. The best policy, using the neoclassical model, is to let the market naturally adjust wages.

Card and Krueger present several new studies that directly refute the notion that minimum wage laws must distort markets. They analyze past studies and find many statistical errors and shocking gaffes. When the authors correct for statistical errors, like autocorrelation and small sample sizes, past papers become statistically insignificant or show a positive impact on employment.

Low wage employers act as monopolistically competitive firms. They have market power over the wages they pay to employees. Moderate increases in the minimum wage lead to increasing real wages AND a marginal increase in employment. The minimum wage should no longer be looked at as a positive issue (i.e. efficiency.)

Minimum wage laws are a blunt redistributive policy. They marginally help low wage workers and the poor. Minimum wage laws are a poor substitute for more progressive welfare programs.
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