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The dynamic effects of health on the labor force transitions of older workers

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  • Bound, John
  • Schoenbaum, Michael
  • Stinebrickner, Todd R.
  • Waidmann, Timothy

Abstract

This paper addresses the interplay between health and labor market behavior in the later part of the working life. We use the longitudinal Health and Retirement Survey to analyze the dynamic relationship between health and alternative labor force transitions, including labor force exit, job change and application for disability insurance. Specifically, we examine how the timing of health shocks affects labor force behavior. Controlling for lagged values of health, poor contemporaneous health is strongly associated with labor force exit in general and with application for disability insurance in particular. At the same time, our evidence suggests that controlling for contemporaneous health, poor lagged health is associated with continued participation. Thus, it appears that not just poor health, but declines in health help explain retirement behavior. We conclude that modeling health in a dynamic, longitudinal framework offers important new insights into the effects of poor health on the labor force behavior of older workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 6 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 179-202

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:6:y:1999:i:2:p:179-202

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Joseph Quinn, . "New Paths to Retirement," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-10, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Marjorie Honig & Giora Hanoch, 1985. "Partial Retirement as a Separate Mode of Retirement Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(1), pages 21-46.
  3. Keane, Michael P, 1992. "A Note on Identification in the Multinomial Probit Model," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(2), pages 193-200, April.
  4. Marjorie Honig & Cordelia Reimers, 1987. "Retirement, Re-entry, and Part-time Work," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 361-371, Oct-Dec.
  5. Pakes, Ariel & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Estimating Distributed Lags in Short Panels with an Application to the Specification of Depreciation Patterns and Capital Stock Constructs," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 243-62, April.
  6. Griliches, Zvi, 1974. "Errors in Variables and Other Unobservables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(6), pages 971-98, November.
  7. Anderson, Kathryn H. & Burkhauser, Richard V., 1984. "The importance of the measure of health in empirical estimates of the labor supply of older men," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 375-380.
  8. Marjorie Honig, 1985. "Partial Retirement among Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(4), pages 613-621.
  9. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1990. "Bridge Jobs and Partial Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 482-501, October.
  10. Joseph Quinn, 1996. "The Role of Bridge Jobs in the Retirement Patterns of Older Americans in the 1990s," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 324., Boston College Department of Economics.
  11. Kathryn H. Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser, 1985. "The Retirement-Health Nexus: A New Measure of an Old Puzzle," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(3), pages 315-330.
  12. Kathryn Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser & Joseph F. Quinn, 1986. "Do retirement dreams come true? The effect of unanticipated events on retirement plans," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(4), pages 518-526, July.
  13. Timothy Waidmann & John Bound & Michael Schoenbaum, 1995. "The Illusion of Failure: Trends in the Self-Reported Health of the U.S. Elderly," NBER Working Papers 5017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Joseph F. Quinn & Richard V. Burkhauser & Daniel A. Myers, 1990. "Passing the Torch: The Influence of Economic Incentives on Work and Retirement," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number pt, December.
  15. Keane, Michael P, 1994. "A Computationally Practical Simulation Estimator for Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 95-116, January.
  16. John Bound & Michael Schoenbaum & Todd R. Stinebrickner & Timothy Waidmann, 1998. "The Dynamic Effects of Health on the Labor Force Transitions of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 6777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Steven Stern, 1989. "Measuring the Effect of Disability on Labor Force Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 361-395.
  18. Parsons, Donald O, 1982. "The Male Labour Force Participation Decision: Health, Reported Health, and Economic Incentives," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 49(193), pages 81-91, February.
  19. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
  20. Geweke, John, 1988. "Antithetic acceleration of Monte Carlo integration in Bayesian inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 73-89.
  21. John Bound & Michael Schoenbaum & Timothy Waidmann, 1996. "Race Differences in Labor Force Attachment and Disability Status," NBER Working Papers 5536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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