Online Program

Minimum Wage and Health Equity: A Bay Area Health Impact Analysis

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 :

Abigail Kroch, PhD, MPH, Contra Costa Health Services, Martinez, CA
R. David Rebanal, DrPH, MPH, Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative, Oakland, CA
Brad Jacobson, MPH, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Sandi Galvez, MSW, Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative, Oakland, CA
Matt Beyers, MSCRP, MA, Alameda County Public Health Department, Oakland, CA
The health-in-all policies approach requires government agencies to consider health impacts of policy decisions. U.S. economic policy has contributed to wage stagnation and erosion among low-income workers. A large body of research on wage, income, and health demonstrates that public policy interventions that aim to increase the incomes of low-income populations could increase income equality and economic security as well as lower mortality rates, improve overall health status in the population, decrease health inequity, and lower overall healthcare costs. In 2014, several San Francisco Bay Area jurisdictions were considering policies to raise the minimum wage. To add the public health perspective to that dialogue, the Bay Area Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII), a collaborative of 11 Bay Area public health departments, conducted a health impact assessment to examine the health impact of a region-wide minimum wage increase. An economic analysis demonstrated that implementing a Bay Area-wide minimum wage of $12.50 per hour would impact nearly one million Bay Area workers. The majority of these workers were found to be parents of childbearing age. Analysis of California survey data showed a relationship between health indicators and wage category, and health indicators and poverty among Bay Area residents. These findings suggest that a minimum wage increase would have a broad and positive impact on health for the region.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe a regional health impact assessment aimed at addressing an economic policy. Discuss HIA research methods and major findings, as well as its strengths and limitations. Demonstrate the relationship between economic and health outcomes. Demonstrate how changes in economic policy could impact health outcomes. Discuss lessons learned for dissemination and policy change.

Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, Public Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I contributed to the analysis and composition of this report.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.