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Labor & Employment Law: Interdisciplinary Research Examples

Oct. 7, 2014

This guide supplements Research in Labor & Employment Law: Secondary Sources with examples from non-law materials.

A great starting point for the wide range of academic disciplines is the UW Libraries' Research Guides (by subject).

UW Libraries logo

Political Science and Public Affairs

Suppose you want to find a policy discussions of minimum wage legislation.

PAIS International

In the guide for Political Science and Public Affairs, the first database listed is PAIS International. The very simple search "minimum wage," limited to the last 12 months, turns up 36 items. Since the database has "international" in its name, it might not be surprising to find articles about foreign and international topics. But it also has some very local pieces. It includes scholarly articles, government reports, books, conference proceedings, and more.

Screen snip, PAIS Minimum Wage search result

PAIS record an article about minimum wage law in developing countries from the International Labour Review.

Uma Rani et al., Minimum Wage Coverage and Compliance in Developing Countries, 152 Int'l Labour Rev. 381 (2013)

To find a copy, click on the purple W with the link, "Check for Full Text." Articles from this journal are available in several different services that the UW licenses.

Check for Full Text link with UW logo

Clicking through to Wiley Online Library yields a PDF. Here is a chart from the article comparing minimum wage systems across global regions:

snip of page from Int'l Labour Review showing bar graph

PAIS International also has policy analysis at the local level. Here is the record for a 7-page memo about the minimum wage in Montgomery County, MD:

screen snip of PAIS International record

This time, we don't need to go to a commercial database to find the document. The PAIS International record gives us the URL of the Economic Policy Institute page where the memo is posted.

Academic Search Complete

The Political Science and Public Affairs guide also suggests Academic Search Complete. This database includes news sources as well as academic journals from a variety of fields.

Searching for "minimum wage" in the last year yields 635 articles, from sources including:

  • Daily newspapers, e.g.,
    • Wall Street Journal
    • New York Times
  • News and general-interest magazines, e.g.,
    • The Nation
    • Time (and
    • The New Yorker
    • The  Economist
  • Scholarly journals, e.g.,
    • Journal of Contemporary Asia
    • The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
    • Canadian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology
    • British Medical Journal

Obviously, the results include a wide range of material with many perspectives on the minimum wage.

Proquest Dissertations & Theses Full Text

As the name suggests, this database provides access to dissertations and theses, often in full text.

Searching for "minimum wage" in the title turns up over a hundred works, including:

  • Rachel Mack,  A Measure of Help for the Working Poor: A Study of the Effects of the Minimum Wage on Welfare Enrollment in the United States, 1990-2011 (Georgetown U., 2014)
  • Brian J. Phelan, Essays on Worker Displacement and the Minimum Wage (Johns Hopkins U., 2013)
  • Maria Olga Pena Marino, Minimum Wages and Labor Markets in Colombia: 2006-2010 (Georgetown U., 2012)
  • Sheila Wilmot, The Social Organization of the Ontario Minimum Wage Campaign (U. Toronto, 2011)
  • Pedro P. Valasco E., Minimum Wage Increases and Pricing of Fast Food Items: Fast Food Restaurants in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and Spokane, Washington (Oklahoma State U., 2008)



The Economics guide lists EconLit and Business Source Complete as good starting points.


EconLit covers books, articles, dissertations, and working papers in economics. The works tend to be technical. Unlike, say, Academic Source Complete, this database doesn't mix general interest publications like Time and the New York Times with the academic publications.

Business Source Complete

Business Source Complete includes a variety of popular press and scholarly journals. Trade publications—such as Nation's Restaurant News and Payroll Manager's Letter—can provide useful perspectives.

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