Robert D Plotnick

University of Washington
Evans School of Public Policy and Governance

209 Parrington Hall, Box 353055
University of Washington
Seattle, WA

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I work broadly in the field of American poverty and anti-poverty policy. Currently, I am part of a team evaluating of the city of Seattle's minimum wage ordinance, which reached $15/hour in January 2017. I am the lead investigator on the part of the study which is assessing the effect of a higher minimum wage on child support compliance.

Ekaterine Jardim, Mark Long, Robert Plotnick, Emma van Inwegen, Jacob Vigdor and Hilary Wething. 2017. Mnimum wage increases, wages and employment: Evidcne from Seattle. NBER Working Paper 23532, June.
Abstract: This paper evaluates the wage, employment, and hours effects of the first and second phase-in of the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance, which raised the minimum wage from $9.47 to as much as $11 per hour in 2015 and to as much as $13 per hour in 2016. Using a variety of methods to analyze employment in all sectors paying below a specified real hourly rate, we conclude that the second wage increase to $13 reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by around 9 percent, while hourly wages in such jobs increased by around 3 percent. Consequently, total payroll fell for such jobs, implying that the minimum wage ordinance lowered low-wage employees’ earnings by an average of $125 per month in 2016. Evidence attributes more modest effects to the first wage increase. We estimate an effect of zero when analyzing employment in the restaurant industry at all wage levels, comparable to many prior studies.
The Seattle Minimum Wage Study Team. 2016. "Report on the impact of Seattle's minimum wage ordinance on wages, workers, jobs, and establishments through 2015." University of Washington
Plotnick, Robert; Glosser, Asaph; Moore, Kathleen and Obara, Emmi. 2015. "Increasing child support from the hard to collect: Evidence from Washington State." Social Service Review 89 (3):427-54.
Plotnick, Robert. 2012. "The Alleviation of Poverty: How Far Have We Come?" Philip Jefferson, eds.Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty (pp. 15-47). New York: Oxford University Press.

Substantive Focus:
Social Policy PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Analysis and Evaluation PRIMARY