A high wage city

Mayor DeBlasio talks a lot about raising the floor. Great! But what’s stopping business, that by nature prefer a lower floor, from leaving?

Infrastructure, retail, and care services intended for consumers in New York cannot be outsourced to Trenton, Birmingham, Mexico City, or Mumbai. Rich people in New York consume a lot of these things and New York is increasingly full of such people. I suspect that the wage elasticity of employment is low in a city like New York for this reason, and indeed that putting a floor on wages, combined with the training programs DeBlasio wants to implement, would kick the city into some kind of higher wage equilibrium, rather than causing it to hemorrhage talent and business as the free marketeers might claim.

I don’t think this is a portable solution. But New York is a big place and if it works it would have a big impact, and hopefully provide insights that are portable to other cities.

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One response to “A high wage city

  1. Pingback: Lots of Bad Ideas

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