Klein, an economist who opposes the minimum wage, wanted to understand why so many economists disagree. As Klein and Dompe explain, summarizing many surveys of economists regarding the minimum wage, “US economists are not only divided over the minimum wage, but the distribution of policy opinion is U-shaped, suggesting deep-seated cleavages.”
Internationally, economists in the USA are more likely than economists in other countries to believe that the minimum wage causes significant increases in unemployment (economists in France are the least likely). In the US, economists who specialize in labor economics are somewhat more supportive of the minimum wage than other economists.
My point is, there is no consensus among US economists regarding the minimum wage. And yet, conservatives often speak as if the negative consequences of the minimum wage are settled fact.
Art Carden writes that scrapping the minimum wage “would show investors, entrepreneurs and employees that policymakers appreciate the laws of supply and demand” — but the hundreds of economists who support the minimum wage are fully aware of the existence of supply and demand.
David Henderson writes that “economists of various political stripes tend to oppose the minimum wage…. Economists’ consensus estimate is that a 10% increase in the minimum wage would destroy 1% to 2% of youths’ jobs.” But he also derides “the mistaken belief that ‘the science’ is ‘settled’” when it comes to climate change.
In other words, when about half the relevant experts disagree with Henderson’s partisan preference, then there’s a consensus. But when nearly every expert in the world disagrees with Henderson’s partisan preference, then there’s still a lot of doubt and we can’t say anything for sure.