Breakfast Session: Broadening the Minimum Wage Debate Beyond Employment
Friday, Jan. 3, 2020 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (PDT)
- Chair: Michael Reich, University of California-Berkeley
Can Labor Market Policies Reduce Deaths of Despair?
AbstractDo minimum wages and the EITC mitigate rising “deaths of despair?” We leverage state variation in these policies over time to estimate difference-in-differences models of drug overdose deaths and suicides. Our causal models find no significant effects on drug-related mortality, but do find significant reductions in non-drug suicides. A 10 percent minimum wage increase reduces non-drug suicides among low-educated adults by 3 percent; the comparable EITC figure is 4.8 percent. Placebo tests and event-study models support our causal research design. Increasing both policies by 10 percent would likely prevent a combined total of more than 1,000 suicides each year.
The Local Aggregate Effects of Minimum Wage Increases
AbstractThis paper examines the effect of minimum wage changes on local aggregate economic
outcomes besides employment and wages. Using variation in state-level minimum wages across locations, we find that minimum wage increases have a relatively modest effect on both city-level inflation and spending growth over the years following the change. The effects are larger in industries and locations that employ a large share of low-wage and minimum-wage workers. Increases in minimum wages also lower debt among households with low credit scores, raise auto debt, and appear to increase access to credit.
- J2 - Demand and Supply of Labor