The LookOut Letters to the Editor
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Endorsement by Economists for Measure JJ

We understand that this November, voters in Santa Monica, California, will consider a living wage law that sets a minimum wage of $10.50 with benefits for workers concentrated in the city's tourism industry.

More than 80 cities and counties throughout the country have now passed living wage legislation. These laws are a response to the widespread reality of stagnant or declining wages, which have left millions of working Americans-many of them holding one or more full-time jobs--unable to afford basic necessities for themselves and their families.

As economists, we believe that living wage legislation is an important tool for improving the living standards of working Americans. Research has shown that these laws can reduce poverty by providing higher pay to the working poor. With respect to the Santa Monica ordinance specifically, we note that the study by Prof. Robert Pollin and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, commissioned by the city, offers strong evidence of the law's overall merits.

The study concluded that the ordinance will benefit workers without significant job loss, and that affected businesses can afford to pay higher wages. These overall findings were affirmed in a peer review by Professor Richard Freeman of Harvard University. In addition, we note that the law strives to minimize any negative economic impact, limiting its application to large businesses only and including a hardship exemption process.

We support Santa Monica's diligent attempt to address the problem of working poverty, and offer our endorsement of the Santa Monica living wage ordinance.

Frank Ackerman
Tufts University

David Arsen
Michigan State University

M. V. Lee Badgett
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Dean Baker
Center for Economic and Policy Research

David Barkin
Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana
Unidad Xochimilco

Lourdes Beneria
Cornell University

Barry Bluestone
Northeastern University

James K. Boyce
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Paul Burkett
Indiana State University

Nilufer Cagatay
University of Utah

Ha-Joon Chang
University of Cambridge College at Brockport

Robert Chernomas
University of Manitoba

James R. Crotty
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Indraneel Dasgupta
University of Nottingham UK

James G. Devine
Loyola Marymount University

Peter Dorman
Evergreen State College

William M. Dugger
University of Tulsa

Gary Dymski
University of California Riverside

Steven Fazzari
Washington University St. Louis

Maria S. Floro
American University

James K. Galbraith
University of Texas at Austin

Teresa Ghilarducci
University of Notre Dame

Don Goldstein
Allegheny College

Ilene Grabel
University of Denver

Ricardo Grinspun
York University

Carol E. Heim
University of Massachusetts Amherst

William Hildred
Northern Arizona University

Dorene Isenberg
Drew University

Thomas Kelly
U.S. International University

Louis Lefeber
York University

Margaret Levenstein
University of Michigan


Arthur MacEwan
University of Massachusetts Boston

Mark Maier
Glendale College

Peter Hans Matthews
Middlebury College

Richard McIntyre
University of Rhode Island

Andrew Mearman
Wagner College

Thomas Michl
Colgate University

Larry Mishel
Economic Policy Institute

Eric Nilsson
California State University San Bernardino

Emily Northrop
Southwestern University

Peter Philips
University of Utah

Manuel Pastor Jr
University of California Santa Cruz

Paddy Quick
St. Francis College

Tom Riddell
Smith College

Michael T. Rock
Hood College

David F. Ruccio
University of Notre Dame

Carlos Salas
Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana
Iztapalapa

Lisa Saunders
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Juliet Schor
Boston College

Mark Setterfield
Trinity College

Laurence Shute
California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Peter Skott
University of Aarhaus

William K. Tabb
Queens College, CUNY

Chris Tilly
University of Massachusetts Lowell

James Webb
University of Missouri Kansas City

Cathleen Whiting
Willamette University

Marty Wolfson
University of Notre Dame

Wiemer Salverda
University of Amsterdam

Carolyn Aldana
California State University San Bernardino

Enid Arvidson
University of Texas

Ron Baiman
University of Illinois Chicago

Brad Barham
University of Wisconsin Madison

Stephanie Bell
University of Missouri Kansas City

Michael A. Bernstein
University of California San Diego

Peter Bohmer
Evergreen State College

Daniel Bromley
University of Wisconsin Madison

Paul D. Bush
California State University Fresno

Jim Campen
University of Massachusetts Boston

J. Dennis Chasse
State University of New York

Jim Cornehls
University of Texas at Arlington

Stephen Cullenberg
University of California Riverside

George DeMartino
University of Denver

Ranjit S. Dighe
State University of New York Oswego

Robert Drago
Penn State University

Donald H. Dutkowsky
Syracuse University

David Fairris
University of California Riverside

Deborah M. Figart
Richard Stockton College

Matthew Forstater
University of Missouri Kansas

Christopher Georges
Hamilton College

Andrew Glyn
Corpus Christi College, Oxford University

Eban Goodstein
Lewis & Clark College

Keith Griffin
University of California Riverside

Christopher Gunn
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Edward S. Herman
University of Pennsylvania

Susan Himnelweit
Open University, UK

Helene Jorgensen
Center for Policy Research

William Lazonick
University of Massachusetts Lowell

Charles Levenstein
University of Massachusetts Lowell

Milton Lower
U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on Energy and Commerce (ret)

Stephen Machin
University College of London

Andrew Martin
Harvard University

Elaine McCrate
University of Vermont

Gabrielle Meagher
University of Sydney

Jonathan Michie
Birkbeck, University of London

John Miller
Wheaton College

Tracy Mott
University of Denver

Laurie Nisonoff
Hampshire College


Sule Ozler
University of California Los Angeles

Robert E. Prasch
Middlebury College

Pascal Petit
CEPREMAP

Michael Reich
University of California Berkeley

John Roche
St. John Fisher College

Frank Roosevelt
Sarah Lawrence College

David Runsten
University of California Los Angeles

Dawn Saunders
University of Vermont


Malcolm Sawyer
University of Leeds

Stephanie Seguino
University of Vermont

Howard Sherman
University of California Riverside

Ajit Singh
University of Cambridge


Howard Stein
Roosevelt University

David Terkla
University of Massachusetts Boston

Marc Tool
California State University Fresno

Thomas E. Weisskopf
University of Michigan

John Willoughby
American University

Carol Zabin
University of California Berkeley

Professor I. Theodossiou
University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Robert Garnett
Texas Christian University

Robert A. Blecker
American University

Academic affiliations for identification purposes only


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