The study’s findings were detailed in a report by The Washington Free Beacon on April 5, 2019.
The release of the study came as the House Education and Labor Committee advanced the Raise the Wage Act of 2019, which would hike the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over several years, the Beacon noted.
The study’s findings are counter to a 2016 report by the Council of Economic Advisers. That report had claimed raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour could prevent about 500,000 crimes each year.
“While we respect the team of economists working at the CEA at that time, the report’s conclusion unfortunately rested on the assumption that minimum wage increases would only generate wage gains without any substantial offsetting employment or human capital effects,” said one of the new study’s authors, San Diego State University professor Joseph Sabia. “Our study shows that these effects cannot be ignored. The adverse employment effects generated by a $15 minimum wage are likely to increase property crime among some young adults.”
Increasing the minimum wage could lead to roughly 410,000 additional property crimes and costs taxpayers $2.4 billion in associated crime costs, according to the study.
“Raising the minimum wage doesn’t just increase joblessness – it increases property crime as well,” said Samantha Summers of the Employment Policies Institute.