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Effects of breast and colorectal cancer on labour market outcomes—Average effects and educational gradients


  • Heinesen, Eskil
  • Kolodziejczyk, Christophe


We estimate causal effects of breast and colorectal cancer on labour market outcomes 1–3 years after the diagnosis. Based on Danish administrative data we estimate average treatment effects on the treated by propensity score weighting methods using persons with no cancer diagnosis as control group. We conduct robustness checks using matching, difference-in-differences methods and an alternative control group of later cancer patients. The different methods give approximately the same results. Cancer increases the risks of leaving the labour force and receiving disability pension, and the effects are larger for the less educated. Effects on income are small and mostly insignificant. We investigate some of the mechanisms which may be important in explaining the educational gradient in effects of cancer on labour market attachment.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinesen, Eskil & Kolodziejczyk, Christophe, 2013. "Effects of breast and colorectal cancer on labour market outcomes—Average effects and educational gradients," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1028-1042.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:32:y:2013:i:6:p:1028-1042
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2013.08.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bradley, Cathy J. & Neumark, David & Barkowski, Scott, 2013. "Does employer-provided health insurance constrain labor supply adjustments to health shocks? New evidence on women diagnosed with breast cancer," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 833-849.
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    5. Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2003. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1161-1189, July.
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    7. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    8. Bradley, Cathy J. & Neumark, David & Bednarek, Heather L. & Schenk, Maryjean, 2005. "Short-term effects of breast cancer on labor market attachment: results from a longitudinal study," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 137-160, January.
    9. Lechner, Michael, 2011. "The Estimation of Causal Effects by Difference-in-Difference Methods," Foundations and Trends(R) in Econometrics, now publishers, vol. 4(3), pages 165-224, November.
    10. Alberto Abadie, 2005. "Semiparametric Difference-in-Differences Estimators," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-19.
    11. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Kleinjans, Kristin J. & Larsen, Mona, 2011. "The Effect of an Acute Health Shock on Work Behavior: Evidence from Different Health Care Regimes," IZA Discussion Papers 5843, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Bradley, Cathy J. & Bednarek, Heather L. & Neumark, David, 2002. "Breast cancer survival, work, and earnings," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 757-779, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Barnay & Mohamed Ali Ben Halima & Emmanuel Duguet & Christine Leclainche & Camille Regaert, 2016. "The Effects Of Breast Cancer On Individual Labour Market Outcomes: An Evaluation From An Administrative Panel," Working Papers halshs-01374467, HAL.
    2. Candon, David, 2015. "The effects of cancer on older workers in the English labour market," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 74-84.
    3. Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice & Francesca Zantomio, 2016. "Acute health shocks and labour market outcomes," Working Papers 2016:09, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    4. Sofie J. Cabus & Wim Groot & Henriëtte Maassen van den Brink, 2016. "The short-run causal effect of tumor detection and treatment on psychosocial well-being, work, and income," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(4), pages 419-433, May.
    5. Trevisan, Elisabetta & Zantomio, Francesca, 2016. "The impact of acute health shocks on the labour supply of older workers: Evidence from sixteen European countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 171-185.
    6. Kolodziejczyk, Christophe & Heinesen, Eskil, 2016. "Labour market participation after breast cancer for employees from the private and public sectors: Educational and sector gradients in the effect of cancer," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 33-55.

    More about this item


    Return to work; Earnings; Income; Disability pension; Social gradient;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure


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