NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Effects of the Minimum Wage on Child Health

George Wehby, Robert Kaestner, Wei Lyu, Dhaval M. Dave

NBER Working Paper No. 26691
Issued in January 2020
NBER Program(s):Program on Children, Development Economics Program, Health Care Program, Health Economics Program, Labor Studies Program, Public Economics Program

Effects of the minimum wage on labor market outcomes have been extensively debated and analyzed. Less studied, however, are other consequences of the minimum wage that stem from changes in a household’s income and labor supply. We examine the effects of the minimum wage on child health. We employ data from the National Survey of Children’s Health in conjunction with a difference-in-differences research design. We estimate effects of changes in minimum wage throughout childhood. We find evidence that an increase in the minimum wage throughout childhood is associated with a large improvement in child health. A particularly interesting finding is that much of the benefits of a higher minimum wage are associated with the period between birth and aged 5.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26691

 
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