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Laura and John Arnold Foundation awards research grants to study minimum wage increases

Houston, TX—Elected officials in a number of cities across the United States have approved increases to the local minimum wage in an effort to improve the well-being of low-income workers and families. In some communities, the minimum wage will increase by more than $5 an hour. Yet, not much is known about the impact of such sizable increases. The existing research does not provide a comprehensive picture of how the effects of these increases will be spread across individuals and households, and how they will vary across industries, neighborhoods, and geographic areas.

The recent policy changes present a unique opportunity to study whether a higher minimum wage can promote economic opportunity and contribute to the long-term financial stability of workers, families, and communities. As such, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) is funding research projects that will evaluate the impact of higher minimum wage ordinances in three major U.S. cities:

In all three projects, researchers will study:

“In order to design sound social policies that drive meaningful, lasting improvements in people’s lives, decision makers must have reliable information about the effects of various approaches,” LJAF Vice President Josh McGee explained. “This research will allow us to learn as much as possible about how minimum wage increases impact low-income workers and their families.”

The research studies will be conducted over three years. Final results will be released in the winter of 2018.

In addition, LJAF is interested in studying minimum wage increases in other areas of the country. For more information, please see this Request for Proposals.

About the Laura and John Arnold Foundation

LJAF is a private foundation that is working to address our nation’s most pressing and persistent challenges using evidence-based, multi-disciplinary approaches. Its strategic investments are currently focused on criminal justice, education, evidence-based policy and innovation, research integrity, and science and technology. LJAF has offices in Houston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. www.arnoldfoundation.org.

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