Minimum Wages and Healthy Diet

28 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2017 Last revised: 4 Nov 2019

See all articles by Kathryn Clark

Kathryn Clark

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Vincent Pohl

Mathematica Policy Research, Washington, DC

Ryan Thomas

Allegiant Travel Company; University of Georgia

Date Written: September 2, 2019

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Clark, Kathryn and Pohl, Vincent and Thomas, Ryan, Minimum Wages and Healthy Diet (September 2, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2892894 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2892894

Kathryn Clark

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

Vincent Pohl (Contact Author)

Mathematica Policy Research, Washington, DC ( email )

1100 1st Street, NE, 12th Floor
Washington, DC 20002-4221
United States

Ryan Thomas

Allegiant Travel Company ( email )

University of Georgia ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States

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