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Effects of the Minimum Wage on Child Health


  • George L. Wehby
  • Robert Kaestner
  • Wei Lyu
  • Dhaval M. Dave


Effects of the minimum wage on labor market outcomes have been extensively debated and analyzed. Less studied, however, are other consequences of the minimum wage that stem from changes in a household’s income and labor supply. We examine effects of the minimum wage on child health. To obtain estimates, we use data from the National Survey of Children’s Health and a difference-in-differences design. We find that an increase in the minimum wage throughout childhood is associated with improvement in child health. Much of the benefit of a higher minimum wage is associated with the period between birth and age 5.

Suggested Citation

  • George L. Wehby & Robert Kaestner & Wei Lyu & Dhaval M. Dave, 2022. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Child Health," American Journal of Health Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(3), pages 412-448.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:amjhec:doi:10.1086/719364
    DOI: 10.1086/719364

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    2. Richard Gearhart & Lyudmyla Sonchak-Ardan & Raphael Thibault, 2023. "The impact of minimum wage on parental time allocation to children: evidence from the American Time Use Survey," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 1019-1042, September.
    3. Slopen, Meredith, 2023. "The impact of paid sick leave mandates on women's health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 323(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs


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