Editors’ Picks – 4 May 2014

This week in Editors’ Picks we take a look at the effects of raising the minimum wage, pricing of supermarket products, Australian productivity, moves towards oligarchy and new takes on globalisation.

The Record Is Clear: Minimum Wage Hikes Destroy Jobs – Michael Saltsman

According to Saltsman, the case for a higher minimum wage is founded on misleading statistics and straight-up falsehoods. In this piece, he debunks many of these notions whilst illustrating the consequences of an increase in the minimum wage.

You Priced this Milkshake – Vlad Savov

Many of the super-sized store chains of today are now turning to vast amounts of data to determine prices. This has been made possible by new software which uses store loyalty cards to show just how much prices should vary.

Artisan products a drag on productivity – Ben Potter

Potter describes two small yet noteworthy sources of drag on our economic efficiency: bakers of ‘artisan products and international style breads’, and small winemakers ignoring declining demand in their industry.

Nobel Prize-Winning Economist: We’re Headed for Oligarchy – Rebecca J. Rosen

Nobel-Prize winner and MIT professor Robert Solow recently commented on the political effects of increasing inequality and concentration of wealth at the top. He warned that if these trends continued, America would become a more oligarchical country – one that is run from the top.

Growth in Global Trade is in Ideas, Not Stuff – Neil Irwin

Drawing upon a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute, Neil Irwin discusses how most people have an incomplete mental picture of globalisation. At present, a larger share of global trade is about knowledge-intensive goods and services, as opposed to the lower-tech capital- and labour-intensive goods more traditionally associated with globalisation.