Employment Policies Institute

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Employment Policies Institute
Abbreviation EPI
Formation 1991
Type Think tank
Headquarters Washington, D.C., United States
Website http://epionline.org/

The Employment Policies Institute is a fiscally conservative non-profit American think tank that conducts research on employment issues such as minimum wage and health care. It was established in 1991[1] and has been described as "a nonprofit research group that studies issues of entry-level employment."[2]

The charity evaluator Charity Navigator has issued a donor advisory concerning The Employment Policies Institute.[3]

Employment Policies Institute should not be confused with the older, similarly named Economic Policy Institute, which is a liberal think tank advocating for low to moderate-income families in the United States.


The Employment Policies Institute has released a number of studies[4][5] that look at the economic effects of policies (like the minimum wage, health care mandates, and employment tax credits) on low-wage labor markets. It also regularly analyzes job market data in the United States[6][7] Typically, studies are contracted by university economists and published under its name.[8]

In 2009, The Employment Policies Institute launched a campaign, Defeat The Debt, focusing on the national debt.[9]

Minimum wage[edit]

The Employment Policies Institute argues that increases to the minimum wage also increase unemployment among groups of workers like teens and less-educated and unskilled workers.[10] Economists have varied views on the impact of minimum wage laws.

It weighed in when Princeton University professors David Card and Alan Krueger concluded that a 1992 minimum wage hike in New Jersey did not decrease employment in the state. Card and Krueger surveyed fast food employers in New Jersey before and after an April 1992 increase in the state minimum wage (from $4.25 to $5.05 per hour) and found a slight increase in employment.[11] Critics of the analysis, including The Employment Policies Institute,[12] noted that because Card and Krueger's research was based on informal headcounts acquired through telephone surveys, it could not be easily replicated.[13] Subsequent analysis of these restaurants' payroll data records found that employment actually decreased by 4.6 percent after the minimum wage hike,[14] and The Employment Policies Institute's findings were later verified by independent economists.[15] This result would mean that the total amount of wages paid to minimum wage employees in the fast food industry in New Jersey increased 13.4 percent as a result of the increase in the minimum wage (employment declined 4.6 percent, but the minimum wage increased 18.8 percent, for a total change in wages paid of 13.4 percent).

In 2000, Card and Krueger redid their study using a data set from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and reproduced their earlier conclusions.[16] They also showed that Neumark and Wascher's results were due to a non-random biased sample of restaurants.

In the time since the Card-Krueger study was released, many economists have tried to look at the effects of minimum wage increases on employment prospects. A 2006 review by Neumark and Washcer of over 100 studies on the minimum wage concluded that the general consensus view agreed that wage increases hurt employment opportunities for youths.[17]

Staff and Management[edit]

Michael Saltsman has been identified on a number of occasions as The Employment Policies Institute’s research director.[18]


National debt[edit]

Defeat The Debt, is a project of The Employment Policies Institute that is focused on the national debt and was launched towards the end of 2009.


  1. ^ "About The Employment Policies Institute". Employment Policies Institute. 
  2. ^ Whitaker, Barbara (June 9, 2007). "Ample Jobs, but Youths Are Choosy". New York Times. 
  3. ^ http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=13373
  4. ^ "Millions Decide to Go Without Health Insurance Coverage". St. Petersburg Times. July 4, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Economists Say Hike in Teen Unemployment Rate Related to Minimum Wage Increase". Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. March 5, 2010. 
  6. ^ Li, Shan (June 29, 2010). "Summer Job Market Cold for Teens". Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ Clabaugh, Jeff (July 7, 2010). "Summer jobs for teens down 38 percent". Portland Business Journal. 
  8. ^ "Think Tanks". Truman State University. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Group Launches Campaign to Raise Awareness About Soaring National Debt". Fox News. September 2, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Seniors Pushing Young Adults Out of the Workforce". Forbes. February 24, 2010. 
  11. ^ Minimum wage#Card and Krueger
  12. ^ "Policy Wonks Go to Battle Over Minimum Wage". Christian Science Monitor. January 26, 1996. 
  13. ^ "Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage". The Cato Journal Book Review. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  14. ^ "The Effect of New Jersey's Minimum Wage Increase on Fast-Food Employment: A Re-Evaluation Using Payroll Records". The National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  15. ^ Neumark, David; William Wascher (August 1995). "The Effect of New Jersey's Minimum Wage Increase on Fast-Food Employment: A Re-Evaluation Using Payroll Records". National Bureau of Economics Research. 
  16. ^ Card, David; Krueger, Alan B. (January 1998). "A Reanalysis of the Effect of the New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase on the Fast-Food Industry with Representative Payroll Data" (PDF). National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research". National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  18. ^ http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/insight/2014/02/16/industries-unions-fund-nonprofits-studies-to-aid-lobbying.html

External links[edit]