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Be Wealthy to Stay Healthy: An Analysis of Older Australians Using the HILDA Survey

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  • Lixin Cai

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

Using the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey data, this study examines the effect of wealth, as measured by net worth, on health transitions of older Australians. By focusing on health transitions instead of health status itself, the study avoids potential endogeneity of wealth arising from the reverse effect of health on wealth. Two health indicators are used to define health transitions: self-reported general health status and the existence of long-term health conditions. The results show that for both health indicators wealthy people are less likely to experience a transition from good to poor health, suggesting that wealth might have a causal effect on health.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2008n08.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2008n08

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Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
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Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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  1. Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers 270, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  2. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  3. Leigh, Andrew & Jencks, Christopher, 2007. "Inequality and mortality: Long-run evidence from a panel of countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-24, January.
  4. Neil J. Buckley & Frank T. Denton & A. Leslie Robb & Byron G. Spencer, 2003. "The Transition from Good to Poor Health: An Econometric Study of the Older Population," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 381, McMaster University.
  5. Jonathan Meer & Douglas L. Miller & Harvey S. Rosen, 2003. "Exploring the Health-Wealth Nexus," NBER Working Papers 9554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stephen Nickell & D Nicolitsas, 1994. "Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0219, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Haveman, Robert & Wolfe, Barbara & Kreider, Brent & Stone, Mark, 1994. "Market work, wages, and men's health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 163-182, July.
  8. Lixin Cai, 2007. "Effects of Health on Wages of Australian Men," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2007n02, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  9. Peter Adams & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden & Angela Merrill & Tiago Ribeiro, 2004. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? Tests for Direct Causal Paths between Health and Socioeconomic Status," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 415-526 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Fuchs, Victor R., 2004. "Reflections on the socio-economic correlates of health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 653-661, July.
  11. Mikael Lindahl, 2005. "Estimating the Effect of Income on Health and Mortality Using Lottery Prizes as an Exogenous Source of Variation in Income," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  12. David M. Cutler & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "Education and Health: Evaluating Theories and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 12352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mark Wooden & Simon Freidin & Nicole Watson, 2002. "The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA)Survey: Wave 1," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(3), pages 339-348.
  14. Ettner, Susan L., 1996. "New evidence on the relationship between income and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 67-85, February.
  15. Lixin Cai & Guyonne Kalb, 2006. "Health status and labour force participation: evidence from Australia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 241-261.
  16. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  17. 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.
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