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Twenty years on the national minimum wage is a straightforward good news story

There has been no discernible impact on employment despite early scaremongering 

By Jonathan Portes  

Gordon Brown Photo: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/PA Images

“How do employers in a low-wage labour market respond to an increase in the minimum wage? The prediction from conventional economic theory is unambiguous: a rise in the minimum wage leads profit-maximising employers to cut employment.” The first two sentences in perhaps the most famous, and certainly the most influential, paper in modern labour economics. This position was very much in line with the Economics 101 model of the world that I’d picked up,…

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