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Doing the Work

If (when) Biden’s $15 national minimum wage causes disparate unemployment outcomes of black teens vs white teens, will we strike it down as racist policy? Remember, Kendi tells us that a policy is either racist or anti-racist. We would hope that we distinguish results from intent. Doing the empirical work here is the bread-and-butter of applied labor economists, so we would expect to see a lot of work on this in the coming years. Of course, we ought not look only at unemployment, but the myriad other ways employers can adjust to state imposed costs – looking at disparate impacts in job training, non-wage compensation, and more is on order.
For reference, here is what the disparate unemployment rates among black and white teens look like today:

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