Health at a Living Wage: Evidence from Natural Experiments

Project Summary: 

The goal of this project is to assess the effects of living wage (LW) policies on the health and wellbeing of low-income adults. The investigators leverage natural experiments in LW policy adoption across metro areas in two population-based, longitudinal studies: the Community Tracking Study and the CARDIA Cohort Study. Evidence generated can inform municipal policy reforms (e.g. city-wide minimum wage) that are gaining significant traction across cities as a means to improve equity in living and working conditions for their populations. The project will also demonstrate the feasibility of placing health as a front-and-center objective for social and economic policy.

Registered on Open Science Framework (OSF):


Health & well-being: material and psychological well-being; allostatic load biomarkers; self-rated health status; BMI; and smoking, drinking, and dietary behavior

Other: Medical care access


Difference-in-difference-in-differences design to generate quasi-experimental, intention-to-treat estimates of LW policy effects.

Principal Investigators: 

Mustafa Hussein, PhD

Grant Start Date: 
October 2018
Award Amount & Duration: 

$ 247,406 & 24 months