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Do Minimum Wage Increases Influence Worker Health?

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  • Horn, Brady P.

    () (University of New Mexico)

  • Maclean, J. Catherine

    () (Temple University)

  • Strain, Michael R.

    () (American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research)

Abstract

This study investigates whether minimum wage increases in the United States affect an important non-market outcome: worker health. To study this question, we use data on lesser-skilled workers from the 1993-2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Surveys coupled with differences-in-differences and triple-difference models. We find little evidence that minimum wage increases lead to improvements in overall worker health. In fact, we find some evidence that minimum wage increases may decrease some aspects of health, especially among unemployed male workers. We also find evidence that increases reduce mental strain among employed workers.

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  • Horn, Brady P. & Maclean, J. Catherine & Strain, Michael R., 2017. "Do Minimum Wage Increases Influence Worker Health?," IZA Discussion Papers 10479, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10479
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    Cited by:

    1. Wehby, George & Dave, Dhaval M. & Kaestner, Robert, 2016. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Infant Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10039, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Hersch Nicholas, Lauren & Maclean, J. Catherine, 2017. "The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on the Labor Supply of Older Adults: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," IZA Discussion Papers 10489, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Vit Hradil, "undated". "Does Minimum Wage Affect Workplace Safety?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp615, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    4. Popovici, Ioana & Maclean, J. Catherine & French, Michael, 2017. "The Effects of Health Insurance Parity Laws for Substance Use Disorder Treatment on Traffic Fatalities: Evidence of Unintended Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 10746, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Lauren Hersch Nicholas & Johanna Catherine Maclean, 2016. "The effect of medical marijuana laws on the health and labor supply of older adults: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," NBER Working Papers 22688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. repec:taf:apeclt:v:24:y:2017:i:16:p:1127-1130 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Averett, Susan L. & Smith, Julie K. & Wang, Yang, 2016. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on the Health of Working Teenagers," IZA Discussion Papers 10185, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Ioana Popovici & Johanna Catherine Maclean & Michael T. French, 2017. "Health Insurance and Traffic Fatalities: The Effects of Substance Use Disorder Parity Laws," NBER Working Papers 23388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    Keywords

    minimum wage; self-reported health; differences-in-differences;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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