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Reservation Wages, Labour Market Participation And Health

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  • Sarah Brown

    ()

  • Jenny Roberts

    ()

  • Karl Taylor

    ()
    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

Abstract

The concept of the reservation wage has played an important role in labour market theory; particularly in models of job search, labour supply and labour market participation. Despite this core theoretical role, there is a scarcity of empirical research which explores the setting of reservation wages at the individual level. In this paper, we focus on the determinants of reservation wages, with a particular focus on health, which has attracted very little attention despite its importance from a policy perspective. We use data for males from 14 waves of the British Household Panel Survey and estimate an endogenous switching model which predicts reservation wages for the unemployed and market wages for the employed. We employ methods to deal with the endogeneity of health, measurement errors in our self reported health variable and selection into economic activity. Our results suggest that health is an important determinant of selection, both into economic activity and into employment (versus unemployment) but that, once these participation effects are accounted for, health is not a significant determinant of either the reservation wage or the market wage. This casts doubt on the results of a number of previous studies that have failed to appropriately account for selection in models of male wages. Our results have important policy implications since they suggest that poor health is a major cause of economic inactivity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2008002.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision: Feb 2008
Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2008002

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Keywords: Endogenous switching models; Health status; Labour market participation; Reservation wages;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Humpert, Stephan & Pfeifer, Christian, 2013. "Explaining age and gender differences in employment rates : a labor supply side perspective," Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 46(1), pages 1-17.
  2. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Tom Van Ourti, 2013. "Health and Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-170/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Castro, Alyssa Mae & Deluna, Roperto Jr, 2013. "Factors Affecting Call Center as a Job Preference among Employees in Davao City," MPRA Paper 51678, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Brown, Sarah & Roberts, Jennifer & Taylor, Karl, 2011. "The Gender Reservation Wage Gap: Evidence form British Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 5457, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Yolanda Pena-Boquete & Manuel Flores, 2013. "Earnings returns to education, experience and health: Evidence from EU-SILC," ERSA conference papers ersa13p1169, European Regional Science Association.
  6. Caliendo, Marco & Mahlstedt, Robert & Mitnik, Oscar A., 2014. "Unobservable, but Unimportant? The Influence of Personality Traits (and Other Usually Unobserved Variables) for the Evaluation of Labor Market Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 8337, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Manuel Flores & Adriaan Kalwij, 2013. "What do wages add to the health-employment nexus? Evidence from older European workers," Documentos de trabajo - Analise Economica 0054, IDEGA - Instituto Universitario de Estudios e Desenvolvemento de Galicia.
  8. Zucchelli, E.; & Harris, M.; & Zhao, X.;, 2012. "Ill-health and transitions to part-time work and self-employment among older workers," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/04, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  9. Alan S Duncan & Mark N Harris & Anthony Harris & Eugenio Zucchelli, 2013. "The Influence of Psychological Well-being, Ill Health and Health Shocks on Single Parents' Labour Supply," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1307, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
  10. Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl, 2011. "Reservation wages, market wages and unemployment: Analysis of individual level panel data," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 1317-1327, May.

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