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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Horn, Brady P. & Maclean, J. Catherine & Strain, Michael R., 2017. "Do Minimum Wage Increases Influence Worker Health?," IZA Discussion Papers 10479, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10479
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    1. Lauren Hersch Nicholas & Johanna Catherine Maclean, 2019. "The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on the Health and Labor Supply of Older Adults: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 38(2), pages 455-480, March.
    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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Vit Hradil, 2018. "Does Minimum Wage Affect Workplace Safety?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp615, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
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    9. Susan L. Averett & Julie K. Smith & Yang Wang, 2017. "The effects of minimum wages on the health of working teenagers," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(16), pages 1127-1130, September.
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    13. Masanori Kuroki, 2018. "Subjective well‐being and minimum wages: Evidence from U.S. states," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 171-180, February.
    14. George L. Wehby & Dhaval M. Dave & Robert Kaestner, 2020. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Infant Health," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(2), pages 411-443, March.
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    24. William H. Dow & Anna Godøy & Christopher A. Lowenstein & Michael Reich, 2019. "Can Economic Policies Reduce Deaths of Despair?," NBER Working Papers 25787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Regmi, Krishna, 2020. "The effect of the minimum wage on children’s cognitive achievement," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).

    More about this item

    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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