NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Michael J. Wither

University of California, San Diego, Department of
9500 Gilman Drive #0508
La Jolla, CA 92093-0508

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2016Is Tinkering with Safety Net Programs Harmful to Beneficiaries? Evidence from the Medicaid Notch and the Minimum Wage
with Jeffrey Clemens
in Social Insurance Programs (Trans-Atlantic Public Economic Seminar - TAPES), Roger Gordon, Andreas Peichl and James Poterba, organizers
December 2014The Minimum Wage and the Great Recession: Evidence of Effects on the Employment and Income Trajectories of Low-Skilled Workers
with Jeffrey Clemens: w20724
We estimate the minimum wage's effects on low-skilled workers' employment and income trajectories. Our approach exploits two dimensions of the data we analyze. First, we compare workers in states that were bound by recent increases in the federal minimum wage to workers in states that were not. Second, we use 12 months of baseline data to divide low-skilled workers into a "target" group, whose baseline wage rates were directly affected, and a "within-state control" group with slightly higher baseline wage rates. Over three subsequent years, we find that binding minimum wage increases had significant, negative effects on the employment and income growth of targeted workers. Lost income reflects contributions from employment declines, increased probabilities of working without pay (i.e....
 
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