Minimum Wages and Healthy Diet
28 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2017 Last revised: 4 Nov 2019
Date Written: September 2, 2019
A healthy diet is often unaffordable for low-income individuals, so income-lifting policies may play an important role in not only alleviating poverty but also in improving nutrition. We investigate if higher minimum wages can contribute to an improved diet by increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables. Exploiting recent minimum wage increases in the U.S. and using individual-level data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System we identify the causal effect of minimum wage changes on fruit and vegetable intake among low-wage individuals in a triple-differences framework. The estimated minimum wage elasticity of fruit and vegetable consumption equals 0.12.
Keywords: minimum wages, nutrition, healthy diet, fruit and vegetable consumption, triple-differences
JEL Classification: I12, J38
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