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The Effects of Minimum Wages on Food Stamp Enrollment and Expenditures

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  • Reich, Michael
  • West, Rachel

Abstract

We provide the first analysis of how minimum wage policy affect s enrollments and expenditures i n the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Exploiting state and federal - level variation in minimum - wage policy between 1990 and 2012, and incorporating local controls in our specifications, we find that a 10 percent minimum wage increase reduces SNAP enrollment between 2.4 and 3.2 percent, and reduces program expenditures an estimated 1.9 percent. If the federal minimum wage were increased from $7.25 to $10.10, enrollment would fall between 7 .5 and 8.7 percent (3. 1 to 3. 6 million persons) relative to 2012 levels, and annual expenditures would decrease 6 percent ($4.6 billion).

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt0wh9z8x4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sylvia Allegretto & Arindrajit Dube & Michael Reich & Ben Zipperer, 2017. "Credible Research Designs for Minimum Wage Studies," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(3), pages 559-592, May.
    2. Lee, David & Saez, Emmanuel, 2012. "Optimal minimum wage policy in competitive labor markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 739-749.
    3. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1992. "Employment Effects of Minimum and Subminimum Wages: Panel Data on State Minimum Wage Laws," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 55-81, October.
    4. Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1802-1820, December.
    5. Mulligan, Casey B., 2012. "The Redistribution Recession: How Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199942213.
    6. 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.
    7. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "The Under-Reporting of Transfers in Household Surveys: Its Nature and Consequences," Working Papers 0903, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    8. Congressional Budget Office, 2014. "The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income," Reports 44995, Congressional Budget Office.
    9. Aaronson, Daniel & French, Eric & Sorkin, Isaac, 2013. "Firm Dynamics and the Minimum Wage: A Putty-Clay Approach," Working Paper Series WP-2013-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    10. Arindrajit Dube & T. William Lester & Michael Reich, 2010. "Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 945-964, November.
    11. Aaronson, Daniel & French, Eric Baird & Sorkin, Isaac, 2016. "Industry Dynamics and the Minimum Wage: A Putty-Clay Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 11097, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dube, Arindrajit, 2017. "Minimum Wages and the Distribution of Family Incomes," IZA Discussion Papers 10572, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Aaron Sojourner & José Pacas, 2019. "The Relationship Between Union Membership and Net Fiscal Impact," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 86-107, January.
    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. Wehby, George & Dave, Dhaval M. & Kaestner, Robert, 2016. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Infant Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10039, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Randy Albelda & Michael Carr, 2017. "One Step Forward, One Step Back? Labor Supply Effects of Minimum Wage Increases on Single Parents with Public Child Care Support," Working Papers 2017_01, University of Massachusetts Boston, Economics Department.

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    Social and Behavioral Sciences;

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