The Minimum Wage Debate
From Lindsey Mulholland
The Berger International Speaker Series and Labor Law Clinic present a lively discussion of the federal minimum wage moderated by Cornell University’s Professor Angela Cornell and featuring panelists Richard Freeman, Sylvia Allegretto, and Ben Zipperer.
This event was co-sponsored by the Cornell Law School Alumni Affairs Office.
The federal minimum wage has been at $7.25 since 2009, and it’s the longest period in our history without an increase. Not indexed to inflation, the current rate produces the same purchasing power as 40 years ago. Gains in wages have gone to the top tier, while wages for most other American workers have been stagnant. Is it time for a $15.00 an hour minimum wage? Would there be adverse consequences? How have low wages impacted income inequality? Is the current wage contributing to the widening racial gap? Our nationally recognized experts will answer these questions and more.
About the panelists:
Richard Freeman holds the Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University. He is currently serving as Faculty co-Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at the Harvard Law School, and is Co-Director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities.
Sylvia Allegretto is a labor economist and co-chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the University of California, Berkeley. CWED is a research center housed at the Institute for Researcher on Labor and Employment. Dr. Allegretto received her Ph. D. in economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder and worked for several years at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington DC where she is currently a research associate
Ben Zipperer joined the Economic Policy Institute in 2016. His areas of expertise include the minimum wage, inequality, and low-wage labor markets. He has published research in The Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Industrial and Labor Relations Review and has been quoted in outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and the BBC.