Pathways between minimum wages and health : the roles of health insurance, health care access and health care utilization

Lenhart, Otto (2019) Pathways between minimum wages and health : the roles of health insurance, health care access and health care utilization. Eastern Economic Journal.

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    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.