Ellora Derenoncourt

Ellora Derenoncourt

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Dept of Economics
Goldman School of Public Policy
Research Expertise and Interest
labor economics, economic history, racial inequality
Research Description

Ellora Derenoncourt is a labor economist and economic historian whose work focuses on inequality. Her research uses quasi-experimental methods and original data collection to understand the evolution of racial inequality in the US over the 20th century. Her recent studies have examined northern backlash against the Great Migration and ensuing reductions in black upward mobility and the role of federal minimum wage policy in accelerating racial earnings convergence during the Civil Rights Era. She has also written on the historical origins of global inequality and Atlantic slavery’s impact on European and British economic development.

Her work has been featured in the Economist, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and NPR. Dr. Derenoncourt received her PhD in Economics from Harvard University in 2019, her MSc in Human Geography from the London School of Economics and her A.B. at Harvard University.

In the News

March 18, 2021

A $15 minimum wage would cost jobs, right? Probably not, economists say

Extensive research led by UC Berkeley economists and alumni has found that significant increases in the minimum wage have little, if any, impact on employers’ hiring decisions. In fact, the researchers say, a higher minimum wage can produce benefits not just for workers, but for their employers, their communities and the entire economy.

In the News

March 18, 2021

A $15 minimum wage would cost jobs, right? Probably not, economists say

Extensive research led by UC Berkeley economists and alumni has found that significant increases in the minimum wage have little, if any, impact on employers’ hiring decisions. In fact, the researchers say, a higher minimum wage can produce benefits not just for workers, but for their employers, their communities and the entire economy.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
March 5, 2021
Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley
According to new research from economists at the University of California, Berkeley, and Brandeis University, wage gains for low-wage workers at other businesses are a direct result of Amazon's corporate decision to increase starting pay to $15 an hour three years ago, which appears to have lifted pay for low-wage workers in other local companies as well. "When you have major changes in the wage policies of large actors in the labor market, this has ripple effects," said co-author Ellora Derenoncourt.
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October 27, 2020
Ellora Derenoncourt and Claire Montialoux
Two UC Berkeley economists, Ellora Derenoncourt and Claire Montialoux discuss a flurry of promises to combat systemic racism after a summer of protests over the killing of George Floyd, and argue that recent American history shows that raising and expanding the minimum wage could reduce the persistent earnings divide between white workers and Black, Hispanic and Native American workers. Though legislation to raise the wage floor would be a universal program in name and application, in practice it would be a remarkably effective tool for racial justice.
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