David Neumark, an economist at the University of California, Irvine, said minimum-wage increases aren't an effective policy tool for alleviating poverty and the potential effects of a $15 minimum wage widely remain an unknown. While smaller increases leave room for businesses to adjust margins through prices or by varying their workforce, a move toward a mandated $15 base salary will likely leave little room for anything other than layoffs, he said. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

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