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ABSTRACT. The minimum wage stipulates who shall be unemployed: anyone not deemed to have a productivity level above that mandated by law (assuming profit seeking behavior on the part of the firm). This law does not require that any employer hire any employee. It only prohibits appointing someone to a job at a wage below the minimum. The present paper makes the case that the minimum wage is harmful to all workers with productivity levels that lie below the level stipulated by this law, and that it is specifically harmful to, and indeed motivated to some extent by prejudice against, African-Americans. pp. 11–24
JEL codes: J64

Keywords: minimum wage; productivity; racial discrimination; prejudice

How to cite: Lingenfelter, Jonathan, Jose Dominguez, Bryce Mayon, and Walter E. Block (2017), “Closing the Gap: Why Minimum Wage Laws Disproportionately Harm African-Americans,” Economics, Management, and Financial Markets 12(1): 11–24.

Received 25 December 2015 • Received in revised form 10 January 2016
Accepted 10 January 2016 • Available online 20 January 2016

doi:10.22381/EMFM12120171

JONATHAN LINGENFELTER
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Economics Department,
George Mason University
JOSE DOMINGUEZ
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Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business,
Loyola University New Orleans
BRYCE MAYON
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Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business,
Loyola University New Orleans
WALTER E. BLOCK
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Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business,
Loyola University New Orleans

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