Spencer Bowdle is a senior completing a double major in Economics and Math. His research, carried out as part of the Economics Honors program, examines the impact of minimum wages on rent prices in US cities. He was nominated to receive the UMD UG researcher award by his research advisor, Professor Ethan Kaplan, who describes it as follows:

“Spencer's research adds an important new result to a large academic literature on the impact of the minimum wage. Historically, theory had predicted a negative impact of minimum wage increases on employment. It turns out that, in fact, when you look carefully at data and use appropriate methods, no negative employment effects can be found (…). However, it is possible that when wages go up, so do prices. (…) The most important of these, by far, is rent since as much as 50% of workers’ is paid out in terms of rent in large cities. (…) he finds that for each dollar of increase in the minimum wage, rents do go up but only by 8 cents. (…) His work will publish well and be well cited and used. It has been truly an honor to work with Spencer this past year.”

Spencer received this award at the opening ceremony for the UG research day at UMD.

The final version of his paper will be available in the honors page.

Spencer and Ethan Kaplan at the awards ceremony