Over the past two ECON 101 classes, we discussed government intervention in markets, using two specific examples: minimum wages and rent controls.
We discovered that economists believe that rent controls are bad, but disagree over the impacts of minimum wages.
Here is some literature for those keen on further reading:
Early, Dirk W. “Rent Control, Rental Housing Supply, and the Distribution of Tenant Benefits.” Journal of Urban Economics, 2000, 48(2): 185-204. (link)
Glaeser, Edward, and Erzo F.P. Luttmer. “The Misallocation of Housing Under Rent Control” American Economic Review, 2003, 93(4): 1027-1046. (link)
Krol, Robert, and Shirley Svorny. “The effect of rent control on commute times.” Journal of Urban Economics, 2005, 58(3): 421-436. (link)
Card, David, and Alan Krueger. “Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.” American Economic Review, 1994, 84(4): 772-793. (link)
Dickens, Richard, Stephen Machin, and Alan Manning. “The Effects of Minimum Wages on Employment: Theory and Evidence from Britain.” Journal of Labor Economics, 1999, 17(1): 1-22. (link)
Campolieti, Michele, Tony Fang, and Morley Gunderson. “Minimum Wage Impacts on Youth Employment Transitions, 1993-1999.” Canadian Journal of Economics, 2005, 38(1): 81-104. (link)
BONUS: Although not directly related to economics, this article (link) discusses the politics of Richard Nixon’s wage and price controls in the 1970s.