Health Shocks and Labour Transitions Across Europe
This paper investigates the relationship between an adverse health shock - limitation in preforming daily activities - and labour market transitions in twenty-six European countries. The European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions dataset is used (2007- 2009). Matching techniques are implemented in order to control for the non-experimental nature of the data. The empirical analysis reveals a significant causal effect of the health shock on the likelihood of leaving full-time employment. Individuals who incur an adverse health shock are significantly more likely to transit either into part-time, unemployment or inactive status. The estimated effect, using the pooled European sample, is negative. Nevertheless, the results differ across countries depending on the country-specific social security system. The largest negative effect is found in Romania, Cyprus and Bulgaria, ranging from 31% to 23%, respectively. It is close to zero in Slovakia and Latvia. I argue that these discrepancies are explained through the heterogeneity in social security systems across Europe. Individuals living in countries characterised by higher work incentives, within the integration disability policy, are less likely to drop out from full-time employment after the health shock occurs.
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