Affordable Access

deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

Invited Commentary: Methods for Estimating Effects of Minimum Wages on Health.

Authors
  • Leigh, J Paul
Type
Published Article
Journal
American journal of epidemiology
Publication Date
Jan 04, 2021
Volume
190
Issue
1
Pages
31–34
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwaa019
PMID: 32037443
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Economists have been researching effects of minimum wages on unemployment, poverty, income inequality, and educational attainment for over 60 years. Epidemiologists have only recently begun researching minimum wages even though unemployment through education are central topics within social epidemiology. Buszkiewicz et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2021;190(1):21-30) offer a welcome addition to this nascent literature. A commanding advantage of Buszkiewicz et al.'s study over others is its distinction between a "likely affected" group comprised of workers with ≤12 years of schooling versus "not likely affected" groups with ≥13 years of schooling. But there are disadvantages, common to other studies. Buszkiewicz et al. use cross-sectional data; they include the self-employed as well as part-time and part-year workers in their treatment groups. Their definitions of affected groups based on education create samples with 75% or more of workers who earn significantly above minimum wages; definitions are not based on wages. Inclusion of workers not subject to (e.g., self-employed) or affected by minimum wages biases estimates toward the null. Finally, within any minimum wage data set, it is the state-not federal-increases that account for the lion's share of increases and that form the natural experiments; however, state increases can occur annually whereas the development of chronic diseases might take decades. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: [email protected]

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times