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David  Neumark - UC Irvine. Irvine, CA, US

David Neumark

Distinguished Professor of Economics | UC Irvine


David Neumark is a labor economist whose work focuses on minimum wages, discrimination in the work force, and worker compensation.



David  Neumark Publication David  Neumark Publication David  Neumark Publication



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What Does Research Tell Us About Minimum Wage? Interview with David Neumark




David Neumark is an American economist and a Chancellor's Professor of Economics at the University of California, Irvine, where he also directs the Economic Self-Sufficiency Policy Research Institute.

Neumark graduated with a B.A. in economics in 1982 from the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude, with Honors. He went on to complete his M.A. in 1985 and Ph.D. in 1987 in economics from Harvard University. His fields were labor economics and econometrics. His dissertation was entitled Male-Female Differentials in the Labor Force: Measurement, Causes and Probes, and published in parts in the Journal of Human Resources.

From 1989 to 1994, Neumark was an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He became a professor at Michigan State University in 1994 and remained at MSU until 2004. Since 2005, he is a Professor of Economics at the University of California, Irvine. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

Neumark's research interests include minimum wages and living wages, affirmative action, sex differences in labor markets, the economics of aging, and school-to-work programs, and has also done work in demography, health economics, development, industrial organization, and finance. His work has been published in economics journals like the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of Labor Economics, the Journal of Human Resources. He is currently the editor of the IZA Journal of Labor Policy and a co-editor of the Journal of Urban Economics.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Health Economics


Gender Inequality in Relationships



Accomplishments (3)

2016 Harris Distinguished Visiting Professor

Presented by Clemson University

2009 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

For "Minimum Wages"

2000 Minnesota Award

For “Age Discrimination Laws and Labor Market Efficiency”

Education (3)

Harvard University: Ph.D., Economics

Harvard University: M.A., Economics

University of Pennsylvania: B.A., Economics

Affiliations (2)

  • NBER - Research Associate
  • IZA - Research Fellow

Media Appearances (13)

Opinion: Black and Hispanic youths pay the biggest price for minimum wage hikes

The Orange County Register  online


According to economist David Neumark of the University of California at Irvine, for every 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, employment for 16-19 year old black and Hispanic teens falls 6.6 percent. So, minimum wage increases not only stifles their economic growth and potential, but also perpetuates the stereotype of the “unemployable black man.” Rather than being lifted up by minimum wage laws, these young workers are being held back and robbed of opportunities to better themselves and their communities.

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Opinion: California’s Crazy ‘Fast Food’ Minimum Wage Takes Effect

The Wall Street Journal  online


David Neumark, UCI Distinguished Professor of economics writes, “California’s fast-food minimum wage will make a bad policy even worse. It will reduce employment at fast-food restaurants, while failing to lift families out of poverty. Other research shows that it will raise fast-food prices and suggests these price increases are borne disproportionately by low-income families. Aside from these adverse effects, it is difficult to fathom any reason for special treatment of fast-food workers.”

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Fast food chains, workers are bracing for California's minimum wage increase: What to know

USA Today  online


Other economists say the cost of raising the minimum wage is job loss: while a corporation like McDonalds can afford to pay their workers higher wages, it doesn't mean they won't respond to price changes, said David Neumark, a professor of economics at the University of California, Irvine. "These places can't function with no low-skilled labor, but they can function with less low-skilled labor," said Neumark. The professor said that some workers will continue to keep their jobs and have minimal hours cut. Others may lose their jobs all together or see a substantial decrease in work hours.

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‘Winners and Losers’ as $20 Fast-Food Wage Nears in California

The New York Times  online


David Neumark, a professor of economics at the University of California, Irvine, said the impact would be more nuanced. “A higher minimum wage creates winners and losers,” he said. The winners will be workers who keep their jobs and at most have a modest reduction in hours, he said, while the losers will be those whose hours are substantially cut or who lose their jobs — along with smaller franchise owners who were already struggling to make much of a profit.

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Minimum Wages Are Going Up. Low-Paid Workers Probably Won’t Notice.

The Wall Street Journal  online


Nationally, the 10% lowest-earning workers saw a 4.8% raise in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to the Labor Department. … “Really tight labor markets are better for people at the bottom. When times are really good, they catch up,” said David Neumark, an economics professor at the University of California, Irvine. “Wages got far ahead of minimums in many places.”

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CA fast-food worker wage increase will begin in 2024. Here's how it'll affect you

KABC  online


California workers at most fast-food chains with more than 60 locations will make $20 an hour starting on April 1, 2024. It's a new state law and economists say it will affect you. "Higher prices but that's not all," said David Neumark who is the Chancellor's Professor at the University of California, Irvine. … "You might have longer lines, you might have dirtier dirty restaurants, there is even a study from Seattle when they raised the minimum wage hygiene violations increased, but consumer prices is also one potential route," said Professor Neumark.

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It’s been the year of the worker. West Hollywood employers are so over it

Los Angeles Times  online


Economists have long argued over what effect minimum wage rules have on jobs. … “People think of it as a free lunch, but you have to pay for it somewhere,” said David Neumark, a UC Irvine economist who has long studied the effects of minimum wage increases. “The workers who get higher wages and keep their jobs and hours — they’re better off,” he said. “It’s workers who lose their jobs and hours. There’s the tradeoff.”

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Subsidies Won't Stop Stagnation

Reason  online


In a 2019 Regional Science and Urban Economics study, for example, University of California, Irvine economists [Distinguished Professor] David Neumark and Timothy Young found that so-called enterprise zones "have for the most part been ineffective at reducing urban poverty or improving labor market outcomes in the United States." That conclusion, they said, jibed with "the more widely prevailing view."

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In a Hot Job Market, the Minimum Wage Becomes an Afterthought

The New York Times  online


David Neumark, a [Distinguished] professor at the University of California, Irvine, said states with high minimum wages could be at a disadvantage in a recession, because employers would have to keep pay high as demand softened, potentially leading to layoffs.

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Bernie Sanders Introduces a Bill To Raise Minimum Wage to $17 by 2028

Reason  online


While some research has found that minimum wage increases do not cause job loss, most scholarship indicates a negative relationship. In a 2022 working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, economists David Neumark [Distinguished Professor] of the University of California Irvine and Peter Shirley, director of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance for the West Virginia Legislature, examined "the entire set of published studies in this literature" and find that "there is a clear preponderance of negative estimates in the literature."

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Researcher takes a look at the pro's and con's of raising the minimum wage

KCBS Radio  online


Research and debate about the minimum wage is typically centered on economic outcomes and the impact on poverty. Studies reveal the obvious pros of higher minimum wages but what about the cons? For more, we are joined by David Neumark, [Distinguished] Professor of economics at the University of California, Irvine and expert on effects of minimum wages on employment, wages, earnings and incomes.

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Disney Faces Dramatic Escalation In $150M+ Gender Discrimination & Pay Equity Suit

Deadline  online


More than four years after Walt Disney Studios staffers LaRonda Rasmussen and Karen Moore first filed a complaint accusing the Mouse House of discriminating against female workers by paying them less than men, attorneys for the duo and other women are today asking a California judge to allow them to turn the matter into a class-action suit. ... “There are 12,511 women employed at Disney in Covered Positions in the Class Period, for an average of 4.38 years,” says an expert report from economics [Distinguished] Professor David Neumark from the University of California, Irvine.

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Disney owes female workers more than $150m in wages, pay gap suit alleges

The Guardian  online


The Walt Disney Company has systematically underpaid women, depriving female employees of more than $150m in wages in California since 2015, according to a new analysis of salary data carried out as part of a class-action lawsuit alleging widespread pay gaps at the company. ...The new statistical analysis was conducted by David Neumark [Distinguished Professor], a University of California, Irvine labor economist and pay gap expert hired by the plaintiffs. His report filed with the court said his comparisons of men’s and women’s salaries controlled for job levels, tenure and other factors that could affect pay, meaning the disparities he uncovered stemmed from gender discrimination.

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Articles (3)

Do opioids help injured workers recover and get back to work? the impact of opioid prescriptions on duration of temporary disability

National Bureau of Economic Research

Bogdan Savych, David Neumark, Randall Lea

2018 We estimate the effect of opioid prescriptions on the duration of temporary disability benefits among workers with work-related low back injuries. We use local opioid prescribing patterns to construct an instrumental variable that generates variation in opioid prescriptions but is arguably unrelated to injury severity or other factors affecting disability duration. Local prescribing patterns have a strong relationship with whether injured workers receive opioid prescriptions, including longer-term prescriptions. We find that more longer-term opioid prescribing leads to considerably longer duration of temporary disability, but little effect of a small number of opioid prescriptions over a short period of time.

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People versus machines: the impact of minimum wages on automatable jobs

Labour Economics

Grace Lordan, David Neumark

2018 We study the effect of minimum wage increases on employment in automatable jobs – jobs in which employers may find it easier to substitute machines for people – focusing on low-skilled workers for whom such substitution may be spurred by minimum wage increases. Based on CPS data from 1980 to 2015, we find that increasing the minimum wage decreases significantly the share of automatable employment held by low-skilled workers, and increases the likelihood that low-skilled workers in automatable jobs become nonemployed or employed in worse jobs. The average effects mask significant heterogeneity by industry and demographic group, including substantive adverse effects for older, low-skilled workers in manufacturing. We also find some evidence that the same changes improve job opportunities for higher-skilled workers. The findings imply that groups often ignored in the minimum wage literature are in fact quite vulnerable to employment changes and job loss because of automation following a minimum wage increase.

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Declining Teen Employment: Minimum Wages, Other Explanations, and Implications for Human Capital Investment

Mercatus Working Paper

David Neumark, Cortnie Shupe

2018 We explore the decline in teen employment in the United States since 2000, which was sharpest for those age 16–17. We consider three explanatory factors: a rising minimum wage that could reduce employment opportunities for teens and potentially increase the value of investing in schooling; rising returns to schooling; and increasing competition from immigrants that, like the minimum wage, could reduce employment opportunities and raise the returns to human capital investment. We find that higher minimum wages are the predominant factor explaining changes in the schooling and workforce behavior of those age 16–17 since 2000. We also consider implications for human capital. Higher minimum wages have led both to fewer teens in school and employed at the same time, and to more teens in school but not employed, which is potentially consistent with a greater focus on schooling. We find no evidence that higher minimum wages have led to greater human capital investment. If anything, the evidence points to adverse effects on longer-run earnings for those exposed to these higher minimum wages as teenagers.

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