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Minimum wage increases can kill businesses — if they already stink

Minimum wage increases can kill businesses — if they already stink

One reason the debate over the minimum wage is so contentious is that data about how it affects employers and workers are murky. So a new study showing that increases in the wage can force restaurants out of business is welcome — but it doesn’t show what minimum wage critics claim it does.

The working paper by the husband-and-wife team of Michael Luca of Harvard Business School and Dara Lee Luca of Mathematica Policy Research examines the closure rates of restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area from 2008 through 2016, a period in which various communities in the region raised their...

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