On June 30th Minneapolis became the 40th jurisdiction to enact a minimum wage ordinance to increase the minimum wage over the next 5 years. This ordinance will incrementally raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour, by 2022 for large businesses and by 2024 for small businesses.

In the WAGE$ study, we will evaluate how this increase in the local minimum wage affects the health and wellness of Minneapolis minimum-wage workers over 5 years. Evaluating this "upstream" policy is critical in moving forward the conversation about wages and health, especially as it relates to health equity. This natural experiment involves two cities: Minneapolis, Minnesota and Raleigh, North Carolina (comparison site) and is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Organizations & Partners

We have enrolled over 450 low-wage workers in Minneapolis, and Raleigh, with a combined total over 900. The study is no longer enrolling participants, but we welcome collaboration with organizations interested in working together around our findings and continued connection with our participants.

Learn how your organization can help.

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Study Team

Principal Investigator

  • Rebekah Pratt, PhD
    University of Minnesota, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health


  • Susie Nanney, PhD, MPH, RD
    University of Minnesota, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
  • Julian Wolfson, PhD
    University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Division of Biostatistics

Project Managers

  • Emily Welle
  • Brett Sheppard

Research Staff

  • Salma Gudaf
  • Thomas Durfee
  • Kristi Fordyce