Jump to main navigation. Jump to main content

The CURA publications library is currently being digitized by the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. When the project is complete, the entire CURA publications library will be online and fully searchable. Unfortunately, during this process we are not able to honor individual requests for publications . Additionally, we no longer have physical copies of publications to send out.

New publications are digitized daily and the publications catalog on the CURA website is not automatically updated with links to scanned copies, so please search the CURA collection at the Digital Conservancy for the publications you are looking for:

Raising Minnesota's Minimum Wage.

Markusen, Ann, Jennifer Ebert, and Martina Cameron.

First adopted by the U.S. Congress in the late 1930s, the minimum wage has been subject to periodic increases by states or Congress to counteract wage erosion caused by inflation. The real value of the minimum wage peaked in 1969, at the equivalent of $8.46 an hour in today's dollars. Since then, the minimum wage has eroded to $5.15 an hour in most states, including Minnesota. In response to a diversity of Minnesota constituencies interested in the potential for a higher minimum wage, the University of Minnesota's Project on Regional and Industrial Economics set out in the summer of 2003 to research the costs and benefits of a higher minimum wage for the state. This article reviews several dimensions of a prospective minimum wage increase for Minnesota based on this research, including a profile of the workers who would benefit; implications for employers, consumers, and the regional economy; a recap of comparable states' success in raising the minimum wage; and a comparison of a minimum wage increase with the Minnesota Working Family Credit as methods of improving the livelihoods of low-income families. The authors conclude that a sizeable number of working poor Minnesotans would benefit substantially from the minimum wage hike proposed in the Minnesota State Legislature in 2004, and that state and local governments--and thus taxpayers and citizens--would benefit from lower welfare spending burdens.

CURA Reporter
Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota.
Supported by a grant from CURA's Faculty Interactive Research Program.
34 (3): 17-23.
Online availability
Download from CURA: 
CURA call number: 
Reporter 34 (3)