The Determinants and Implications of Local Minimum Wage Adoption
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As of December 2018, over 40 localities in the United States have minimum wage laws that set a wage floor above the federal minimum wage (UC Berkeley Labor Center 2018).1 The recent surge in local minimum wage laws not only runs counter to traditional theories of local policy, but also presents the potential for a new paradigm of public policy action and diffusion. Cities, often thought to be limited in their policymaking capabilities, may be at the vanguard of policy action, reimagining the policymaking relationship between local, state, and national governments. The surge in local minimum wages (between 2012 and 2017 the number of localities with a local minimum wage increased from 2 to 35) could signal a turn towards city-led public policy.