Wage hikes and health

May 25, 2018
A quarter, two ones, and a five, piled in that descending order.

On July 1 the minimum wage for all work performed in Minneapolis begins a five-year rise to $15 an hour. Anticipating that this will affect employee health and health-related behaviors, U of M Medical School researchers will follow a group of workers to document the impact.

In this first-of-its-kind study, the researchers will compare the group’s experiences to those of a matched control set of workers in Raleigh, N.C., where there is no wage increase.

“We are focusing on diet and weight-related health outcomes—for example, the amount and healthfulness of food purchases, changes in weight relative to our control community, and changes in food assistance program participation,” says study leader Caitlin Caspi, an assistant professor of family medicine and community health. “But we are [also] looking at a range of other individual outcomes, including healthcare usage and changes in household expenditures.”