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Gabor Simonovits, Alexander Bor: Stability and Change in the Opinion–Policy Relationship: Evidence From Minimum Wage Laws

In their article in Research & Politics, Gabor Simonovits and our Post-Doctoral Fellow Alexander Bor replicate and extend a recent study to assess how policy bias evolves in time.

As they argue, “recent studies have documented large discrepancies between mass preferences and policies in U.S. states consistent with theories that highlight the oversized influence of affluent Americans on policymaking.”

Relying on novel data and methods, the authors “construct measures of minimum wage preferences and compare them to observed policies in each state for the years of 2014, 2016, 2019, and 2021.” They demonstrate that, “averaged across states, policy change closely tracked a pronounced increase in preferences for higher minimum wages, but the size of policy bias remained relatively stable. However, this national pattern hides an increasingly polarized policy landscape: in many states, insufficient responsiveness led to an increasing deviation between preferences and policies, while in other states policy changes—larger than preference changes—closed initial policy bias.”

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