EdPolicyWorks Speaker Series: Jessica Brown

Minimum Wage, Worker Quality, and Consumer Well-Being: Evidence from the Child Care Market

  • - EDT
  • Holloway Hall (Bavaro 116)


We study the impact of the minimum wage on service quality and consumer well-being within the child care market by combining multiple data sources. Although child care firms increase teacher pay in response to minimum wage reforms, we find no impact on employment levels. Instead, providers respond by implementing a range of other revenue-enhancing and cost-saving practices, such as raising prices, increasing child-to-staff ratios, and serving fewer children in the child care subsidy system. We also find evidence that service quality increases: staff turnover declines, teachers are more likely to make human capital investments, and teacher-child interactions improve. Despite the increase in quality, parents report that they are less satisfied with their child care provider, a result we attribute to the increase in prices. Read Jessica Brown's paper here.

Headshot of Jessica Brown


Jessica Brown is an assistant professor of economics at the University of South Carolina. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University in 2019. Her primary research area is early childhood education with a particular focus on understanding the child care market and how it responds to changes in policy and the economic environment.

No registration is required.

If you'd like to receive EdPolicyWorks Speaker Series updates and calendar information, click here to be added to the listserv.

Event Information

Event Sponsor

  • EdPolicyWorks