, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 725-734

Is there consensus among American labor economists? Survey results on forty propositions

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Abstract

I examine whether consensus exists among American labor economists on forty propositions by analyzing responses to a questionnaire mailed to 193 randomly selected labor economists who are members of the American Economic Association. The questions address many of the important debates in labor economics. The answers show consensus on a number of issues, including the belief that minimum wage laws decrease employment, and a rejection of comparable worth’s merits. However, there is substantial disagreement about the impact of unions, the amount of discrimination in the labor market, the trend of average real wages, and several other topics.

For comments and advice I thank Charles Brown, Lee Craig, Price Fshback, Donald Frey, Robert Margo, Joshua Rosenbloom, and Andrew Yates. Special thanks go to those who generously gave their time to complete the questionnaire.