An Empirical Test

It isn’t often that we get to run a controlled experiment in economics, but one seems to be beginning in Oregon on the matter of minimum wages.

Oregon lawmakers have approved landmark legislation that propels the state’s minimum wage for all workers to the highest rank in the US, and does so through an unparalleled tiered system based on geography.

The legislation will raise the state’s minimum wage to

$14.75 in metro Portland, $13.50 in smaller cities such as Salem and Eugene, and $12.50 in rural communities.

This will be complete in just six years, by 2022.

And that’s the experiment. Over the course of these next six years, watch employment rates adjust across the three geographies, and watch small business startup and development across those three geographies.


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