Objectives: To investigate the effect of minimum wage laws on adolescent birth rates in the United States.
Methods: I used 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, which provided plausibly causal estimates of the effect of minimum wage on adolescent birth rates.
Results: A $1 increase in minimum wage reduces adolescent birth rates by about 2%. The effects are driven by non-Hispanic White and Hispanic adolescents.
Conclusions: Nationwide, increasing minimum wages by $1 would likely result in roughly 5000 fewer adolescent births annually.