Do Minimum Wage Increases Influence Worker Health?

Economic Inquiry, Forthcoming

59 Pages Posted: 25 May 2017

See all articles by Brady Horn

Brady Horn

University of New Mexico - Department of Economics

Catherine Maclean

Temple University

Michael R. Strain

American Enterprise Institute; IZA

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 1, 2017


This paper investigates whether minimum wage increases impact worker health in the United States. We consider self-reported measures of general, mental, and physical health. We use data on lesser-skilled workers from the 1993 to 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. Among men, we find no evidence that minimum wage increases improve health; instead, we find that such increases lead to worse health outcomes, particularly among unemployed men. We find both worsening general health and improved mental health following minimum wage increases among women. These findings broaden our understanding of the full impacts of minimum wage increases on lesser-skill workers.

Keywords: Minimum Wages, Self-Reported Health, Differences-In-Differences

JEL Classification: I1, I11, I18

Suggested Citation

Horn, Brady and Maclean, Catherine and Strain, Michael, Do Minimum Wage Increases Influence Worker Health? (April 1, 2017). Economic Inquiry, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Brady Horn

University of New Mexico - Department of Economics ( email )

1915 Roma NE/Economics Building
Albuquerque, NM 87131
United States

Catherine Maclean

Temple University ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Michael Strain (Contact Author)

American Enterprise Institute ( email )

1789 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States


IZA ( email )

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