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The Effects of Health Shocks on labour Market Exits: Evidence from the HILDA Survey


  • Eugenio Zucchelli

    () (The University of York)

  • Andrew M. Jones

    (The University of York)

  • Nigel Rice

    (The University of York)

  • Anthony Harris

    (Monash University)


This paper analyses the relationship between ill-health, health shocks and early labour market exits among older working individuals. We represent the transition to non-employment as a discrete-time hazard model using a stock-sample from the first six waves (2001-2006) of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. Our results show that health shocks are key determinants of early exit choices. For men, negative shocks to health increase the hazard of becoming nonemployed by 50 to 320 per cent, whereas for women, health shocks increase the hazard of an early exit from the labour market by 68 to 74 per cent. These findings are confirmed by both a measure of health limitations and a measure of latent health obtained using pooled ordered probit models as well as for two alternative definitions of health shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Eugenio Zucchelli & Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice & Anthony Harris, 2010. "The Effects of Health Shocks on labour Market Exits: Evidence from the HILDA Survey," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 13(2), pages 191-218.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:13:y:2010:i:2:p:191-218

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James Giesecke & G.A. Meagher, 2008. "Modelling the Economic Effects of Population Ageing," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers g-172, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
    2. Shah, C & Burke, G, 2005. "Skills Shortages: Concepts, Measurement and Policy Responses," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 44-71.
    3. Peter B. Dixon & Maureen T. Rimmer, 2006. "The Displacement Effect of Labour-Market Programs: MONASH Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages 26-40, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesca De Palma & Stefania Girone & Sara Grubanov-Boškovic, 2014. "Looking back to look forward: the Italian active ageing in between the old and the new millennium," RIEDS - Rivista Italiana di Economia, Demografia e Statistica - Italian Review of Economics, Demography and Statistics, SIEDS Societa' Italiana di Economia Demografia e Statistica, vol. 68(3-4), pages 55-62, July-Dece.
    2. Chatterji, Pinka & Joo, Heesoo & Lahiri, Kajal, 2017. "Diabetes and labor market exits: Evidence from the Health & Retirement Study (HRS)," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 9(C), pages 100-110.
    3. Verikios, George & Dixon, Peter B. & Rimmer, Maureen T. & Harris, Anthony H., 2015. "Improving health in an advanced economy: An economywide analysis for Australia," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 250-261.
    4. 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".
    5. Aganbegyan, Abel Gezevich & Gorlin, Yury Mikhailovich & Dormidontova, Yulia & Maleva, Tatyana Mikhailovna & Nazarov, Vladimir, "undated". "Analysis of Factors that Influences on Decision About Retirement Age," Published Papers nvg125, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    6. 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.
    7. Conley, Dalton & Thompson, Jason, 2013. "The effects of health and wealth shocks on retirement decisions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 389-404.
    8. 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.
    9. Sahlgren, Gabriel H., 2012. "Work ‘til You Drop: Short- and Longer-Term Health Effects of Retirement in Europe," Working Paper Series 928, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    10. repec:eee:joecag:v:6:y:2015:i:c:p:149-162 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lyashok, Victor & Roshchin, Sergey, 2015. "Effect of health on labor supply of elderly," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 40(4), pages 6-27.
    12. Harris, M.N. & Zhao, X. & Zucchelli, E., 2016. "The dynamics of health and labour market transitions at older ages: evidence from a multi-state model," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/30, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

    More about this item


    Health: General Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General C41 Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies J14 Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-labor Market Discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination


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