Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Economics & Finance

First Advisor

Wei Yang


This paper studies the employment effects of the November 2015 minimum wage increase in Johnson County, Iowa from $7.25 per hour to $8.25 per hour. It was the first of three incremental minimum wage increases implemented by the county to raise its minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The paper uses a difference-in-difference approach to compare the experience of the Johnson County labor market with that of contiguous border counties to estimate the impact of the policy change. The study’s results yielded employment comparison estimates which were not statistically significant. Therefore, the null hypothesis that the policy effect of the minimum wage hike on employment is zero cannot be rejected.