The role of minimum wages in labour markets is one of the most divisive issue in economics. Supporters argue that minimum wages can prevent exploitation of low wage workers, while opponents argue that the legislation causes job losses and therefore hurting those it was intended to help. New research by Professor Donal O'Neill of the Labour Studies Group at Maynooth University explores the reasons underlying these differing opinions.  ​In particular the paper analyses economists’ support for the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 using a database on over 1000 economists. In contrast to prevbious research in this area teh analysis finds that differences of opinion on the legislation can be characterised along a number of interesting dimensions, with support higher among females, young labor economists and those located further from Chicago. ​These differences across fields may reflect real differences in the markets with which these economists are most familiar, while the changing time pattern in attitudes may reflect greater exposure of graduate students in labor economics to recent work in that field challenging the traditional competitive model of the labor market. 
The paper has been published in Economics Letters (2015, Vol. 136) and an online version can be downloaded here.