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Economists call for boost to minimum wage

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Seventy-five prominent economists, including seven Nobel Prize winners and several professors at Massachusetts universities signed a letter to President Obama and Congress endorsing increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016.

The bump would increase a full-time minimum wage workers annual pay from about $15,000 to $21,000, an amount that could help stimulate the nation’s slow-growing economy, the economists said. The letter, initiated by Lawrence Katz at Harvard University and Lawrence Mishel at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, said the weight of evidence shows increasing the minimum wage has little or no negative effect on companies’ willingness to hire, and the increase could give the economy a small boost as those workers are more likely to spend their additional earnings.

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