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Does the minimum wage affect welfare caseloads?

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  • Marianne E. Page

    (University of California, Davis)

  • Joanne Spetz

    (University of California, San Francisco)

  • Jane Millar

    (University of California, Davis)

Abstract

Although minimum wages are advocated as a policy that will help the poor, few studies have examined their effect on poor families. This paper uses variation in minimum wages across states and over time to estimate the impact of minimum wage legislation on welfare caseloads. We find that the elasticity of the welfare caseload with respect to the minimum wage is between 0.1 and 0.2, but this estimate is sensitive to the sample period and assumptions about state trends. We tentatively conclude that higher minimum wages increase welfare dependence; however, more research is warranted.© 2005 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

Suggested Citation

  • Marianne E. Page & Joanne Spetz & Jane Millar, 2005. "Does the minimum wage affect welfare caseloads?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 273-295.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:24:y:2005:i:2:p:273-295
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.20090
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    1. The Minimum Wage: Facts vs. Fiction
      by Patrick Brennan in The Corner on 2014-01-30 23:49:06

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    3. Brady P. Horn & Johanna Catherine Maclean & Michael R. Strain, 2017. "Do Minimum Wage Increases Influence Worker Health?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1986-2007, October.
    4. Pallab K. Ghosh & Gary A. Hoover & Zexuan Liu, 2020. "Do State Minimum Wages Affect the Incarceration Rate?," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(3), pages 845-872, January.
    5. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & FJane Waldfogel, 2004. "The Impact of Welfare Benefits on Single Motherhood and Headship of Young Women: Evidence from the Census," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    6. Reich, Michael & West, Rachel, 2015. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on Food Stamp Enrollment and Expenditures," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt0wh9z8x4, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    7. Michael F. Pesko & Charles J. Courtemanche & Johanna Catherine Maclean, 2019. "The Effects of Traditional Cigarette and E-Cigarette Taxes on Adult Tobacco Product Use," NBER Working Papers 26017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Lauren Hersch Nicholas & Keshar M. Ghimire, 2017. "The Impact of State Medical Marijuana Laws on Social Security Disability Insurance and Workers' Compensation Benefit Claiming," Working Papers id:12111, eSocialSciences.
    9. Sen, Anindya & Rybczynski, Kathleen & Van De Waal, Corey, 2011. "Teen employment, poverty, and the minimum wage: Evidence from Canada," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 36-47, January.
    10. Schoeni, R.F. & Blank, R.M., 2000. "What Has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," Papers 00-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    11. Regmi, Krishna, 2020. "The effect of the minimum wage on children’s cognitive achievement," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    12. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Keshar M. Ghimire & Lauren Hersch Nicholas, 2021. "Marijuana legalization and disability claiming," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 453-469, February.
    13. Mark D. Turner, 1999. "The Effects of Higher Minimum Wages on Welfare Recipiency," JCPR Working Papers 95, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    14. Arindrajit Dube, 2019. "Minimum Wages and the Distribution of Family Incomes," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 268-304, October.
    15. Masayoshi Hayashi, 2017. "Do Central Grants Affect Welfare Caseloads? Evidence from Public Assistance in Japan," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1064, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    16. Godoey, Anna & Reich, Michael & Allegretto, Sylvia, 2019. "Parental Labor Supply: Evidence from Minimum Wage Changes. Working Paper #103-19," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt1f66h44t, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.

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