An article in The Quarterly Journal of Economics finds that the expansion of the federal minimum wage in 1967 was critical in reducing the earnings gap and income gap between Black and white workers. Authors document that over the last 70 years there is only one period of time when the earnings gap between white and Black Americans decreased significantly—from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. Authors explore the impacts of the 1967 extension of minimum wage to previously excluded industries using historical state and national data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the March Current Population Survey (CPS), and the Census Bureau. Their analyses found that the minimum wage expansion is responsible for about 20 percent of the reduction in the racial earnings gap seen during that period. These findings suggest that minimum wage policy may be an important avenue for reducing racial economic disparities. #racialequity
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