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Health status and labour force participation: evidence from Australia

  • Lixin Cai

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Australia)

  • Guyonne Kalb

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Australia)

This paper examines the effect of health on labour force participation using the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. The potential endogeneity of health, especially self-assessed health, in the labour force participation equation is addressed by estimating the health equation and the labour force participation equation simultaneously. Taking into account the correlation between the error terms in the two equations, the estimation is conducted separately for males aged 15-49, males aged 50-64, females aged 15-49 and females aged 50-60. The results indicate that better health increases the probability of labour force participation for all four groups. However, the effect is larger for the older groups and for women. As for the feedback effect, it is found that labour force participation has a significant positive impact on older females' health, and a significant negative effect on younger males' health. For younger females and older males, the impact of labour force participation on health is not significant. The null-hypothesis of exogeneity of health to labour force participation is rejected for all groups. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1053
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 241-261

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:15:y:2006:i:3:p:241-261
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Barsky, Robert B, et al, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-79, May.
  2. Lixin Cai & Guyonne Kalb, 2004. "Health Status and Labour Force Participation: Evidence from the HILDA Data," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n04, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Currie, Janet & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1999. "Health, health insurance and the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 3309-3416 Elsevier.
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  6. Richard Brazenor, 2002. "Disabilities and labour Market earnings in Australia," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 5(3), pages 319-334, September.
  7. Roger Wilkins, 2003. "Labour Market Outcomes and Welfare Dependence of Persons with Disabilities in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n02, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  8. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  9. Guyonne Kalb & Lixin Cai, 2004. "Health status and labour force participation: evidence from HILDA data," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 130, Econometric Society.
  10. Kathryn H. Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser, 1985. "The Retirement-Health Nexus: A New Measure of an Old Puzzle," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(3), pages 315-330.
  11. Sickles, Robin C & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "An Analysis of the Health and Retirement Status of the Elderly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1339-56, November.
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  13. Brent Kreider, 1999. "Latent Work Disability and Reporting Bias," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 734-769.
  14. John Bound & Michael Schoenbaum & Todd R. Stinebrickner & Timothy Waidmann, 1998. "The Dynamic Effects of Health on the Labor Force Transitions of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 6777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Debra Sabatini Dwyer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1998. "Health Problems as Determinants of Retirement: Are Self-Rated Measures Endogenous?," NBER Working Papers 6503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Megan Beckett & Marc N. Elliott, 2002. "Does the Association Between Marital Status and Health Vary by Sex, Race, and Ethnicity?," Working Papers 02-08, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  17. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
  18. Steven Stern, 1989. "Measuring the Effect of Disability on Labor Force Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 361-395.
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