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The impact of the minimum wage on health

Author

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  • Elena Andreyeva

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Benjamin Ukert

    () (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

This study evaluates the effect of minimum wage on risky health behaviors, healthcare access, and self-reported health. We use data from the 1993–2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and employ a difference-in-differences strategy that utilizes time variation in new minimum wage laws across U.S. states. Results suggest that the minimum wage increases the probability of being obese and decreases daily fruit and vegetable intake, but also decreases days with functional limitations while having no impact on healthcare access. Subsample analyses reveal that the increase in weight and decrease in fruit and vegetable intake are driven by the older population, married, and whites. The improvement in self-reported health is especially strong among non-whites, females, and married.

Suggested Citation

  • Elena Andreyeva & Benjamin Ukert, 2018. "The impact of the minimum wage on health," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 337-375, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ijhcfe:v:18:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10754-018-9237-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s10754-018-9237-0
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    Cited by:

    1. Averett, Susan L. & Smith, Julie K. & Wang, Yang, 2019. "Minimum Wages and the Health and Access to Care of Immigrants' Children," IZA Discussion Papers 12606, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Hafner, Lucas & Lochner, Benjamin, 2019. "Do minimum wages improve self-rated health? : Evidence from a natural experiment," IAB Discussion Paper 201917, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    3. Otto Lenhart, 2020. "Pathways Between Minimum Wages and Health: The Roles of Health Insurance, Health Care Access and Health Care Utilization," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 438-459, June.
    4. Hafner, Lucas, 2019. "Do minimum wages improve self-rated health? Evidence from a natural experiment," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 02/2019, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Minimum wage; Risky health behaviors; Smoking; Drinking; BMI;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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