Minimum Wages and Retirement

Mark Borgschulte, Heepyung Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors study the effect of the minimum wage on the employment outcomes and Social Security claiming of older US workers from 1983 to 2016. The probability of work at or near the minimum wage increases substantially near retirement, and previous researchers and policies suggest that older workers may be particularly vulnerable to any disemployment effects of the minimum wage. Results show no evidence that the minimum wage causes earlier retirements. Instead, estimates suggest that higher minimum wages increase earnings and may have small positive effects on the labor supply of workers in the key ages of 62 to 70. Consistent with increased earnings and delayed retirement, higher minimum wages decrease the number of Social Security beneficiaries and amount of benefits disbursed. The minimum wage appears to increase financial resources for workers near retirement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-177
Number of pages25
JournalILR Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Social Security claiming
  • employment
  • minimum wages
  • older workers
  • retirement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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