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Health, wealth, and informality over the life cycle

Author

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  • Julien Albertini

    (Univ Lyon, Université Lumière Lyon 2, GATE UMR 5824, F-69130 Ecully, France)

  • Xavier Fairise

    (GAINS, University of Le Mans)

  • Anthony Terriau

    (GAINS, University of Le Mans)

Abstract

How do labor market and health outcomes interact over the life cycle in a country characterized by a large informal sector and strong inequalities? To quantify the effects of bad health on labor market trajectories, wealth, and consumption, we develop a life-cycle heterogeneous agents model with a formal and an informal sector. We estimate our model using data from the National Income Dynamics Study, the first nationally representative panel study in South Africa. We run counterfactual experiments and show that health shocks have an important impact on wealth and consumption. The channel through which these shocks propagate strongly depends on the job status of individuals at the time of the shock. For formal workers, bad health reduces labor efficiency, which translates into lower earnings. For informal workers and the non-employed, the shock lowers the job finding rate and in- creases job separation into non-employment, which results in a surge in non-employment spells. As bad health spells persist more for non-employed than for employed individuals, the interaction between labor market risks and health risks generates a vicious circle.

Suggested Citation

  • Julien Albertini & Xavier Fairise & Anthony Terriau, 2020. "Health, wealth, and informality over the life cycle," Working Papers 2001, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
  • Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:2001
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    Cited by:

    1. Julien Albertini & Xavier Fairise & Arthur Poirier & Anthony Terriau, 2022. "Short-Time Work Policies During the Covid-19 Pandemic," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 146, pages 123-172.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health; Wealth; Life cycle; Informality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • J46 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Informal Labor Market
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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