Methodology for Systematic Review on Minimum Wage Increases

Following the points outlined in Cornell Library’s Evidence Synthesis Guide for systematic reviews, we searched the database, EconLit, for the keyword phrases, “minimum wage,” “employment,” and “United States,” searching all fields and including related terms. We restricted the results to peer-reviewed articles in English published between 2004 and 2019 in the field of economics. Our search returned 144 articles. We screened the titles and abstracts of these article to narrow our field to those that directly addressed our research question, “What does the scholarly research say about whether raising the minimum wage negatively impacts employment?” That screening process yielded 50 studies.

We read the full text of these 50 studies and classified them based on whether they concluded that raising the minimum wage in U.S. regions had a minimal negative employment effect (either a negligible negative impact, no negative impact, or a positive impact) or a tangible negative employment effect. We placed those that reported mixed results into a separate category. We then summarized the most salient findings and posted all 50 study abstracts, classified by type, on our online portal.

Click here to return to the findings page.

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