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Be Wealthy to Stay Healthy: An Analysis of Older Australians Using the HILDA Survey

  • Lixin Cai

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

Using the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey data, this study examines the effect of wealth, as measured by net worth, on health transitions of older Australians. By focusing on health transitions instead of health status itself, the study avoids potential endogeneity of wealth arising from the reverse effect of health on wealth. Two health indicators are used to define health transitions: self-reported general health status and the existence of long-term health conditions. The results show that for both health indicators wealthy people are less likely to experience a transition from good to poor health, suggesting that wealth might have a causal effect on health.

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File URL: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2008n08.pdf
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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2008n08.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2008n08
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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  1. Robert Haveman & Mark Stone & Barbara Wolfe, 1989. "Market Work, Wages, and Men's Health," NBER Working Papers 3020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Adams, Peter & Hurd, Michael D. & McFadden, Daniel & Merrill, Angela & Ribeiro, Tiago, 2003. "Healthy, wealthy, and wise? Tests for direct causal paths between health and socioeconomic status," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 3-56, January.
  3. Andrew Leigh & Christopher Jencks, 2006. "Inequality and Mortality: Long-Run Evidence from a Panel of Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 533, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  4. Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers 270, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  5. Buckley, Neil J. & Denton, Frank T. & Leslie Robb, A. & Spencer, Byron G., 2004. "The transition from good to poor health: an econometric study of the older population," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 1013-1034, September.
  6. Meer, Jonathan & Miller, Douglas L. & Rosen, Harvey S., 2003. "Exploring the health-wealth nexus," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 713-730, September.
  7. 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.
  8. Ettner, Susan L., 1996. "New evidence on the relationship between income and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 67-85, February.
  9. David M. Cutler & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "Education and Health: Evaluating Theories and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 12352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Lindahl, Mikael, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Income on Health and Mortality Using Lottery Prizes as Exogenous of Variation in Income," IZA Discussion Papers 442, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Fuchs, Victor R., 2004. "Reflections on the socio-economic correlates of health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 653-661, July.
  12. Stephen Nickell & D Nicolitsas, 1994. "Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0219, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Mark Wooden & Simon Freidin & Nicole Watson, 2002. "The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA)Survey: Wave 1," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(3), pages 339-348.
  14. Lixin Cai, 2009. "Effects of Health on Wages of Australian Men," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 85(270), pages 290-306, 09.
  15. Lixin Cai & Guyonne Kalb, 2006. "Health status and labour force participation: evidence from Australia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 241-261.
  16. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  17. 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.
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