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Socioeconomic heterogeneity in the effect of health shocks on earnings: evidence from population-wide data on Swedish workers

  • Lundborg, Petter

    ()

    (Lunds University)

  • Nilsson, Martin

    ()

    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

  • Vikström, Johan

    ()

    (Institute for Labout Market Policy Evaluation)

In this paper, we test for the existence of socioeconomic heterogeneity in the effect of health shocks on labor market outcomes using register data on the total population of Swedish workers. We estimate fixed effect models and use unexpected hospitalizations as a measure of health shocks. Our results suggest large heterogeneity in the effects, where low educated individuals suffer relatively more from a given health shock. This result holds across a wide range of different health shocks and our results suggest that the heterogeneity increases by age. We test several potential explanations to these results. Extensive sensitivity analyses, including a difference-in-differences matching model, show that our estimates are robust to a number of potential threats. We conclude that socioeconomic heterogeneity in the effect of health shocks offers one explanation to why the socioeconomic gradient in health widens during middle ages.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2011:11.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 31 Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2011_011
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Phone: (+46) 18 - 471 70 70
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  1. Jennifer Stewart, 1999. "The Impact of Health Status on the Duration of Unemployment Spells and the Implications for Studies of the Impact of Unemployment on Health Status," Working Papers 33, National University of Ireland Galway, Department of Economics, revised 1999.
  2. Janet Currie & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1998. "Health, Health Insurance and the Labor Market," JCPR Working Papers 27, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  3. Fredriksson, Peter & Johansson, Per, 2008. "Dynamic Treatment Assignment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 435-445.
  4. Fabrice Etilé & Carine Milcent, 2006. "Income-related reporting heterogeneity in self-assessed health: evidence from France," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(9), pages 965-981.
  5. van Kippersluis, Hans & Van Ourti, Tom & O'Donnell, Owen & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2009. "Health and income across the life cycle and generations in Europe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 818-830, July.
  6. Doreen Wing Han Au & Thomas F. Crossley & Martin Schellhorn, 2005. "The Effect of Health Changes and Long-term Health on the Work Activity of Older Canadians," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 397, McMaster University.
  7. Richard Disney & Carl Emmerson & Matthew Wakefield, 2003. "Ill health and retirement in Britain: a panel data based analysis," IFS Working Papers W03/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & Bleichrodt, Han & Calonge, Samuel & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna & Hakkinen, Unto & Leu, Robert E., 1997. "Income-related inequalities in health: some international comparisons," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 93-112, February.
  9. Fabrice Etilé & Carine Milcent, 2006. "Income-related reporting heterogeneity in self-assessed health: evidence from France," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590524, HAL.
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