UMass Economist Arindrajit Dube Presents Report Supporting U.K. Plan to Increase National Living Wage

Arindrajit Dube
Arindrajit Dube

Arindrajit Dube, professor of economics, has completed and presented a review of the international evidence on the impacts of minimum wages and the implications for future minimum wage policy to end low pay in the United Kingdom.

Dube was appointed in March by then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond to undertake the review. The presentation of his findings comes after current Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said in September the government would raise Britain’s minimum wage to two-thirds of median earnings, taking it to 10.50 pounds ($13.58) an hour.

Javid said he would increase the National Living Wage (NLW) to the new target by 2024, provided economic conditions allowed, and expand its reach to all workers over the age of 21. The current NLW applies only to those over the age of 25.

Dube’s research supports the plan, and he found that setting a floor on pay had a negligible effect on job creation.

“Based on the overall evidence - with a special emphasis on the recent, high quality, evaluations of the NLW and other more ambitious policies internationally - my report concludes that there is room for exploring a higher NLW in the UK up to two-thirds of the median wage, ” Dube told Reuters. “It will also be important to empirically evaluate and recalibrate any such ambitious policy based on new evidence down the road.”

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