Sigma: Journal of Political and International Studies


federal minimum wage, positive and negative treatment, employment


In March 2014, President Obama urged Congress to approve a minimum wage hike from $7.25 to $10.10. As expected, a debate sparked from both sides of the aisle about whether it should be increased at all and if the proposed jump was too large. Following this debate, a flurry of public opinion polls entered the field to measure how Americans felt on this issue. Research firms from the Washington Post to Pew fielded basic surveys asking how Americans felt about the potential wage hike. However, none of them looked at how the levels of information about the minimum wage increase affected survey responses. We fill this hole by conducting a field experiment through the Utah Colleges Exit Poll that varies the information given to the respondent. We presented respondents with either positive information, negative information, or both categories of information. In our study, we found respondents are significantly affected by “negative” and “combined” sets of information.