Welfare Effects of Minimum Wage and Other Government Policies



The minimum wage, unlike most government transfer programs, lowered welfare in the 1980s and 1990s as measured by all commonly used welfare or inequality measures, including various Atkinson indexes, the Gini index, standard deviation of logarithms, and others. The effects of most government programs, macroeconomic variables, and aggregate demographic characteristics were qualitatively the same for all the inequality measures.