Working Papers

Parental Labor Supply

Evidence from Minimum Wage Changes


We analyze effects of the minimum wage on the labor supply of parents of young children. Distributional difference-in-differences and event study models document a sharp rise in employment rates of single mothers with children ages 0 to 5 following minimum wage increases. Effects are concentrated among jobs paying close to the minimum wage. We find corresponding drops in the probability of staying out of the labor force to care for family members. Results are consistent with simple labor supply models in which childcare costs create barriers to employment. Minimum wage increases then enable greater labor force participation and reduce child poverty.