Markets seek equilibrium, and the demand for goods and services will come to an equilibrium with supply of goods and services. When markets are not in equilibrium, surpluses and shortages, as well as underground markets, can exist. Sometimes, the government may want to intervene in markets to try to help reduce economic hardships.
Analyze the impact of an increase in the minimum wage from the current level to $15 per hour. How would the following be affected?
a. employment of people previously earning less than $15 per hour
b. the unemployment rate of teenagers
c. the availability of on-the-job training for low-skilled workers
d. the demand for high-skilled workers who are good substitutes for low-skilled workers
Review the mechanics of price floors and price ceilings. Why does a price floor lead to surpluses? Why does a price ceiling lead to shortages? Review consumer and producer surplus. A price floor will lead to a transfer of consumer surplus to producer surplus; a price ceiling will lead to a transfer of producer surplus to consumer surplus; both price regulations lead to deadweight losses, which is a loss of surplus to society. Why?