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Pathways Between Minimum Wages and Health: The Roles of Health Insurance, Health Care Access and Health Care Utilization

Otto Lenhart ()
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Otto Lenhart: University of Strathclyde

Eastern Economic Journal, 2020, vol. 46, issue 3, No 3, 438-459

Abstract: Abstract This study contributes to recent work on the relationship between minimum wages and health by examining potential underlying mechanisms. Specifically, the roles of health insurance, health care access and utilization are explored. By analyzing Current Population Survey data for the years 1989–2009 and by estimating DD models, I find that higher minimum wages increase health insurance coverage, in particular individually purchased insurance, among low-educated individuals. By estimating data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for the same period, I furthermore provide evidence for improvements in health care access/affordability and increased health care utilization following minimum wage increases.

Keywords: Minimum wages; Health; Pathways; Health care access; Health behaviors (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I1 I12 I13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1057/s41302-019-00152-5

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