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What do wages add to the health-employment nexus? Evidence from older European workers

Author

Listed:
  • Manuel Flores

    (University of Santiago de Compostela, IDEGA)

  • Adriaan Kalwij

    (Utrech University School of Economics)

Abstract

This paper adds to the empirical literature on health as an important determinant of employment at older ages by exploring the role in the health-employment nexus of the wage rates of 50 to 64-year-old workers. To do so, we use individual-level panel data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe to estimate a system of equations for health, wages and employment. Our model also takes into account both the potential for measurement error in the health variable and selectivity issues related to the wage equation. We find that for men (women) a one-unit (one standard deviation) increase in health yields, on average, a 7 (8) percentage higher hourly wage rate, resulting in a 2 (4) percentage point higher employment probability. We also show a direct impact of health on employment: a similar increase in health raises the employment probability of men (women) by 16 (13) percentage points. As regards differences between European countries, our findings suggest that for all country groups, the mediating role of wages in the health-employment nexus is relatively small while the direct impact of health on employment is relatively large and rather similar. Overall, our findings indicate only a minor role for disability income policies likes wage subsidies to encourage the employment of (older) workers with health limitations, but an instrumental role for policy aimed at helping employers accommodate these workers on the job and keep them employed at older ages.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel Flores & Adriaan Kalwij, 2013. "What do wages add to the health-employment nexus? Evidence from older European workers," Documentos de trabajo - Analise Economica 0054, IDEGA - Instituto Universitario de Estudios e Desenvolvemento de Galicia.
  • Handle: RePEc:edg:anecon:0054
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. #HEJC papers for September 2013
      by academichealtheconomists in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-09-01 04:01:38

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    Cited by:

    1. Manuel Flores & Melchor Fernández & Yolanda Pena-Boquete, 2020. "The impact of health on wages: evidence from Europe before and during the Great Recession," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 319-346.
    2. Adriaan Kalwij & Arie Kapteyn & Klaas de Vos, 2017. "Work Capacity at Older Ages in the Netherlands," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: The Capacity to Work at Older Ages, pages 243-267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Nicola Ciccarelli & Arthur Soest, 2018. "Informal Caregiving, Employment Status and Work Hours of the 50+ Population in Europe," De Economist, Springer, vol. 166(3), pages 363-396, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health; wages; employment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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