Higher wages, less gym time? The effects of minimum wages on time use

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This study examines the effects of minimum wages on time use. Analyzing data from the American Time Use Survey from 2003 to 2017, I investigate the role of time allocated towards exercise and other health-enhancing activities as a potential mechanism underlying the link between minimum wages and health. The study finds that a $1 increase in minimum wages is associated with reductions in exercising and total personal health time by 13 and 20 minutes during the week, respectively. This decline in health time is fully reallocated toward additional leisure time. The results are largely driven by males and employed individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-270
Number of pages18
JournalSouthern Economic Journal
Issue number1
Early online date1 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • minimum wage
  • time use
  • health-enhancing activities


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