NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Zhuo (Adam) Chen

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Working Papers

November 2009The Impact of Minimum Wage Rates on Body Weight in the United States
with David O. Meltzer: w15485
Growing consumption of increasingly less expensive food, and especially "fast food", has been cited as a potential cause of increasing rate of obesity in the United States over the past several decades. Because the real minimum wage in the United States has declined by as much as half over 1968-2007 and because minimum wage labor is a major contributor to the cost of food away from home we hypothesized that changes in the minimum wage would be associated with changes in bodyweight over this period. To examine this, we use data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 1984-2006 to test whether variation in the real minimum wage was associated with changes in body mass index (BMI). We also examine whether this association varied by gender, education and income, and used quant...

Published: The Impact of Minimum Wage Rates on Body Weight in the United States, David O. Meltzer, Zhuo Chen. in Economic Aspects of Obesity, Grossman and Mocan. 2011

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