Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Minimum wages & obesity

The paper below ties together two important but seemingly disparate topics minimum wages and obesity. The argument is that in the US the federal minimum wage fell between 1968 and 2007 thus making fast food cheaper and this should have lead to more obesity.

They find "... that a $1 decrease in the real minimum wage was associated with a 0.06 increase in BMI. This relationship was significant across gender and income groups and largest among the highest percentiles of the BMI distribution. Real minimum wage decreases can explain 10% of the change in BMI since 1970. We conclude that the declining real minimum wage rates has contributed to the increasing rate of overweight and obesity in the United States."

The impact of minimum wage rates on body weight in the United States
D Meltzer, Z Chen

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