Public Choice

, Volume 147, Issue 1–2, pp 209–225

Determinants of congressional minimum wage support: the role of economic education


DOI: 10.1007/s11127-010-9617-6

Cite this article as:
O’Roark, J.B. & Wood, W.C. Public Choice (2011) 147: 209. doi:10.1007/s11127-010-9617-6


Much has been made about the lack of economic education among the public at large, yet little has been said about the limited education of Members of Congress. This paper examines the economic education levels of Members of Congress voting on the 2007 increase in the minimum wage. Controlling for a variety of characteristics of members and constituents, this study finds that members who majored in economics as undergraduates were less likely to vote for the minimum wage increase than their colleagues. No other major had a consistent influence. A large number of statistical specifications confirm the robustness of the finding.


Economic education Congressional voting behavior Minimum wage 

JEL Classification

A20 D72 J38 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and Legal StudiesRobert Morris UniversityMoon TownshipUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsJames Madison UniversityHarrisonburgUSA

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