The effect of minimum wage rates on high school completion

John Robert Warren, Caitlin Hamrock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Does increasing the minimum wage reduce the high school completion rate? Previous research has suffered from (1. narrow time horizons, (2. potentially inadequate measures of states' high school completion rates, and (3. potentially inadequate measures of minimum wage rates. Overcoming each of these limitations, we analyze the impact of changes in state and federal minimum wage rates on state high school completion rates for the graduating classes of 1982 through 2005. Our state-level analyses, which consist of a series of state and year fixed-effects models with controls for state-year time-varying covariates, provide no support for the argument that increasing the minimum wage reduces rates of high school completion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1379-1392
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Boston. This research was supported by the University of Minnesota’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. We are also grateful to several anonymous reviewers for their useful suggestions. Direct correspondence to John Robert Warren, University of Minnesota, Department of Sociology, 909 Social Sciences, 267 19th Ave S., Minneaopolis, MN 55455. E-mail:


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