Working Paper Number


Publication Date



Working Paper 88


In this paper, I examine some of those features on the basis of data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) by comparing cities that passed ordinances to those that did not. What I intend to show is the following: cities with certain demographics, particularly higher concentrations of immigrants from south of the American border, lower levels of educational attainment, more people in low wage industries, and higher rates of income inequality, appear to be more likely to pass living wage ordinances than those cities that do not have these demographics. This, of course, would raise the further question of what would be more important in explaining why some cities are more predisposed to passing ordinances over others. Is it the various demographic variables or the level of income inequality? And for that matter, what do these variables necessarily have to do with the efforts of local organizers to mobilize grass-roots campaigns in response? Do growing inequalities in urban labor markets create incentives for collective action to launch living wage campaigns?


Included in

Economics Commons