Source: Harvard University
April 18, 2017

We study the impact of the minimum wage on firm exit in the restaurant industry, exploiting recent changes in the minimum wage at the city level. The evidence suggests that higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants. However, lower quality restaurants, which are already closer to the margin of exit, are disproportionately impacted by increases to the minimum wage. Our point estimates suggest that a one dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating), but has no discernible impact for a 5-star restaurant (on a 1 to 5 star scale).

The past thirty years have seen a dramatic decline in the rate of income convergence across states and in population flows to wealthy places. These changes coincide with (1) an increase in housing prices in productive areas, (2) a divergence in the skill-specific returns to living in those places, and (3) a redirection of unskilled migration away from productive places. . . Income convergence continues in less-regulated places, while it has mostly stopped in places with more regulation.