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Subjective Health Assessments and Active Labor Market Participation of Older Men: Evidence from a Semiparametric Binary Choice Model with Nonadditive Correlated Individual-specific Effects


  • Jürgen Maurer

    (Institute of Health Economics and Management and Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Lausanne)

  • Roger Klein

    (Rutgers University)

  • Francis Vella

    (Georgetown University)


We use panel data from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study, 1992–2002, to estimate the effect of self-assessed health limitations on the active labor market participation of older men. Self-assessments of health are likely to be endogenous to labor supply due to justification bias and individual-specific heterogeneity in subjective evaluations. We address both concerns. We propose a semiparametric binary choice procedure that incorporates nonadditive correlated individual-specific effects. Our estimation strategy identifies and estimates the average partial effects of health and functioning on labor market participation. The results indicate that poor health plays a major role in labor market exit decisions. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Jürgen Maurer & Roger Klein & Francis Vella, 2011. "Subjective Health Assessments and Active Labor Market Participation of Older Men: Evidence from a Semiparametric Binary Choice Model with Nonadditive Correlated Individual-specific Effects," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 764-774, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:3:p:764-774

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Conny Wunsch, 2011. "Does leaving welfare improve health? Evidence for Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 484-504, April.
    2. Anastasia Semykina, 2016. "Self-Employment among Women: Do Children Matter More Than We Previously Thought?," Working Papers wp2016_07_02, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
    3. Stefanie Schurer, 2008. "Discrete Heterogeneity in the Impact of Health Shocks on Labour Market Outcomes," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2008n19, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    4. Wenliang Hou & Alicia H. Munnell & Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher & Yinji Li, 2017. "Why Are U.S. Households Claiming Social Security Later?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2017-3, Center for Retirement Research.
    5. Berg, Claudia & Emran, M. Shahe & Shilpi, Forhad, 2013. "Microfinance and moneylenders : long-run effects of MFIs on informal credit market in Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6619, The World Bank.
    6. Kämpfen, Fabrice & Maurer, Jürgen, 2016. "Time to burn (calories)? The impact of retirement on physical activity among mature Americans," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 91-102.
    7. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-01189009 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Andrew E. Clark & Yarine Fawaz, 2015. "Retirement and the Marginal Utility of Income," PSE Working Papers halshs-01189009, HAL.
    9. Fernández-Val, Iván & Savchenko, Yevgeniya & Vella, Francis, 2013. "Evaluating the Role of Individual Specific Heterogeneity in the Relationship Between Subjective Health Assessments and Income," IZA Discussion Papers 7651, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General


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