States that raise their minimum wages may put low-skill workers at risk of having their jobs automated, according to a new academic paper published Monday.
The study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that higher minimum wages are likely to lower employment in manufacturing jobs that can be performed by robots, and hit older, black, and female workers particularly hard.
The paper, which has not yet gone through the peer review process, was written by Grace Lordan of the London School of Economics and David Neumark of the University of California at Irvine, one of the pre-eminent academic analysts of the minimum wage.
It is sure to once again reignite the long-running debate over the effects of higher minimum wages. Many Democrats have called for raising the federal minimum wage from its current rate of $7.25 an hour to $15 in order to increase workers’ pay. Democratic-run states and cities have implemented wage floors above the federal level.