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Survival of the Fittest: the Impact of the Minimum Wage on Restaurant Closures

Seminar | May 4 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 2521 Channing Way (Inst. for Res. on Labor & Employment), IRLE Director's Room

Dara Lee Luca, Mathematica Policy Research; Michael Luca, Harvard Business School

Institute of Research on Labor & Employment

Opponents of minimum wage increases have long worried about their impact on restaurants, which often rely on low-wage workers. Dara Lee Luca and Michael Luca will present research on raising the minimum wage in cities such as San Francisco, where they find that higher wages have come with increased rates of restaurant closure. Struggling, poorly-rated restaurants are especially vulnerable when the minimum wage rises, while highly-rated restaurants see little effect.