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The Effect of Minimum Wages on Adolescent Fertility: A Nationwide Analysis
Bullinger, L. R.
Year Published: 2017
American Journal of Public Health
American Public Health Association
This author investigated the effect of minimum wage laws on adolescent birth rates in the United States, using a difference-in-differences approach and vital statistics data measured quarterly at the state level from 2003 to 2014. All models included state covariates, state and quarter-year fixed effects, and state-specific quarter-year nonlinear time trends to provide plausibly causal estimates of the effect of minimum wage on adolescent birth rates. Results showed that a $1 increase in the real minimum wage reduced adolescent birth rates by approximately 2 percent. The effects were driven by non-Hispanic White and Hispanic adolescents. Nationwide, increasing minimum wages by $1 could result in about 5,000 fewer adolescent births annually. Although the unemployment rate was also found to be a powerful predictor of adolescent fertility, minimum wage had a robust effect on adolescent birth rates independent of the unemployment rate. Modified Author Abstract.