Episode 562: A Mall Divided : Planet Money A California mall straddles the border between two cities — and the minimum wage is higher on one side.
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Episode 562: A Mall Divided

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Episode 562: A Mall Divided

Episode 562: A Mall Divided

Episode 562: A Mall Divided

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/473128291/473272839" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Steve Henn/NPR
The boundary line between the city of San Jose and the city of Santa Clara runs through the Westfield Valley Fair Mall.
Steve Henn/NPR

Note: This episode originally ran in August 2014.

The Westfield Valley Fair Mall in California is like any other mall, except for one thing: Half of it is in the city of San Jose, and the other half is in the city of Santa Clara. The boundary line runs right through the mall.

For a long time, this didn't matter. But in 2012, one city — San Jose — raised its minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 an hour. This change created two economic worlds within a single, large building. Employees doing more or less the same work, just steps away from each other, started making different wages.

On today's show: Minimum wage stories from a single mall. What happens when some stores suddenly have to pay their workers more — and others are still paying less.


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