A morning roundup of the day’s news.
The fallout of $15: Contradicting years of research on the minimum wage, a new study finds that the costs so far outweigh the benefits in Seattle’s gradual raise to $15 an hour, with the average low-wage worker losing $125 a month. (Washington Post)
"This strikes me as a study that is likely to influence people," said David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was not involved in the research. He called the work "very credible" and "sufficiently compelling in its design and statistical power that it can change minds."
Yet the study will not put an end to the dispute. Experts cautioned that the effects of the minimum wage may vary according to the industries dominant in the cities where they are implemented along with overall economic conditions in the country as a whole.
And critics of the research pointed out what they saw as serious shortcomings. In particular, to avoid confusing establishments that were subject to the minimum with those that were not, the authors did not include large employers with locations both inside and outside of Seattle in their calculations. Skeptics argued that omission could explain the unusual results.
Mayors in Miami: City leaders who gathered this weekend in Miami Beach for the U.S. Conference of Mayors positioned themselves as problem-solvers in the face of federal dysfunction and sent clear messages to the Trump administration on issues including immigration. (Washington Post, AP)
- See also: Politico Magazine rounds up America’s 11 most interesting mayors.
The feds strike back: The Justice Department is quietly exploring new legal strategies to force cities to comply with federal officials on sanctuary city mandates, including arguing discrimination against ICE. (The Hill)
City booster: Michael Bloomberg is creating a $200 million philanthropic program to support innovative city policies and give mayors a hand in national politics, including a $17 million challenge for cities. (New York Times, AP)
The grocery revolution: Even after its acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon needs to take a lot of steps to truly revolutionize the grocery industry, experts say, pointing to the need for dozens more fulfillment warehouses. (Reuters)
- See also: Amazon’s recent patent applications suggest a vision for “drone hives” in the heart of cities. (The Verge)
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