Higher Minimum Wages Reduce Capital Expenditures

Matthew T. Gustafson, Jason D. Kotter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Using cross-state and intertemporal variation in whether a state’s minimum wage is bound by the federal minimum wage, we provide evidence that minimum wage increases lead U.S. public firms in minimum-wage-sensitive industries (i.e., retail, restaurant, and entertainment) to cut capital expenditures. These effects are concentrated one to two years after the law goes into effect. Prior to the minimum wage increase, investment trends are similar across minimum-wage-sensitive firms in bound versus unbound states, and we find little evidence that minimum wage changes affect U.S. public firm investment outside of these industries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2933-2953
Number of pages21
JournalManagement Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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