by Siddhartha Rao
Faculty mentor: Dr. Steve Greenlaw
The topic of living wage is highly contested in today’s political environment with many liberals looking to implement some kind of minimum wage increase, while conservatives argue to keep it where it is. The most common economic theory for the minimum wage debate comes from micro analysis of single firms and shows a decrease in employment from an increase in minimum wage although studies have found no conclusive answer. A newer macro perspective shows the possibility of no change in employment due to a minimum wage increase. With this macro theory in mind, the aim of this study is to look deeper into this question through regression analysis looking specifically at fast food jobs, considered some of the lowest paying jobs in the country. The results of this study support that an increase in population leads to an increase in fast food jobs and an increase in GDP leads to a decrease in fast food jobs. The minimum wage variable had a very low t-value meaning that it was not different from zero. This supports the macro perspective in showing no change in employment from an increase in minimum wage.