The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Arin Dube Profiled in Bloomberg: The Burger Flipper Who Became a World Expert on the Minimum Wage

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

As a 16-year-old kid flipping burgers at a Seattle McDonald’s in 1989, Arindrajit Dube was earning the state minimum wage of $3.85 an hour. “I remember feeling privileged that I was going to go on to college, while there were many older workers working at that wage,” he recalls.

He still thinks about the minimum wage, only now it’s from his perch at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he’s possibly the world’s leading authority on its economic effects. Dube’s research is guaranteed to get a bigger audience as Democrats in Congress attempt to make good on President Biden’s pledge to raise the federal wage floor to $15 an hour by 2025.

To cut to the chase, Dube (doo-BAY’) thinks it’s a good idea. “My reading of the evidence is that those risks are probably not very high,” he says, alluding to the argument that high wage floors destroy jobs by causing employers to make do with fewer workers or, in extreme cases, to close their doors. “There’s also a lot of rewards—lowering poverty.”

Read full profile via Bloomberg