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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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Suggested Citation

  • Bound, John & Schoenbaum, Michael & Stinebrickner, Todd R. & Waidmann, Timothy, 1999. "The dynamic effects of health on the labor force transitions of older workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 179-202, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:6:y:1999:i:2:p:179-202
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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