State minimum wage differences: Economic factors or political inclinations

William F. Ford, Travis Minor, Mark F. Owens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper examines the importance of factors that influence a state's decision to adopt an above-federal minimum wage level. Our results indicate that state political leanings are the primary factor explaining differences in state minimum wage laws since 1991. Further, state cost of living differences do not appear to influence a state's decision to increase its minimum wage above the federal level. This result is interesting since proponents of raising the minimum wage cite the rising cost of living as a principal justification for an increase. Our findings should be of special interest to economists responsible for analyzing and forecasting labor cost trends within and among states where their employers operate or plan to relocate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalBusiness Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'State minimum wage differences: Economic factors or political inclinations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this