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March 28, 2016

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If there are bad effects I'd expect them to be concentrated in rural areas and poorer parts of the Central Valley more specifically.

Coastal California with its resilient economy and high cost of living will probably absorb the increased labor costs more easily.

That's almost certainly correct, Dave:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/californias-15-minimum-wage-makes-a-lot-less-sense-outside-of-silicon-valley/

What would be interesting (but take some work) would be to see what's happened to the wage distribution in different parts of California.

For the state as a whole, I'm almost certain that real median wages are higher than 1968 levels in most places; I'm also almost certain that a $13 minimum wage (in 2015 dollars) is less binding that it would have been in 1968.

But it wouldn't surprise me if the state outside the Bay Area and L.A. is significantly poorer than it was in 1968.

Some are saying the new minimum wage will spur on the Robopocalypse (faster):

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3048791/it-industry/californias-15-an-hour-minimum-wage-may-spur-automation.html

In a period of persistently high profits but relatively weak demand, labor replacing technology is a natural response to a drastic increase in labor costs.

I think this will apply in retail and restaurant chains more aggressively due to their scale.

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