NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Minimum Wages and the Distribution of Family Incomes

Arindrajit Dube

NBER Working Paper No. 25240
Issued in November 2018
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

There is robust evidence that higher minimum wages increase family incomes at the bottom of the distribution. The long run (3 or more years) minimum wage elasticity of the non-elderly poverty rate with respect to the minimum wage ranges between -0.220 and -0.459 across alternative specifications. The long run minimum wage elasticities for the 10th and 15th unconditional quantiles of family income range between 0.152 and 0.430 depending on specification. A reduction in public assistance partly offsets these income gains, which are on average 66% as large when using an expanded income definition including tax credits and non-cash transfers.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25240

 
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