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The impact of health on labour supply near retirement

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Blundell

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and IFS and UCL)

  • Jack Britton

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Monica Costa Dias

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Eric French

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and IFS and UCL)

Abstract

Estimates of the effect of health on employment differ signi cantly from study to study due to differences in method, data, institutional background and health measure. We assess the importance of these differences using a unifi ed framework to interpret and contrast estimates of the impact of health on employment based on various measures of health and estimation procedures. This is done for the US and England. We fi nd that subjective and objective health measures, as well as subjective measures instrumented by objective measures produce similar estimates if a sufficiently large number of objective measures is used. Reducing the number of objective measures used compromises their ability to capture work capacity and biases estimates downwards. Failure to account for initial conditions leads to an overstatement of the effect of health on employment. We also find that a carefully constructed single index of subjective health yields estimates that are very similar to those obtained with multiple measures. Overall, declines in health can explain between 3% and 15% of the decline in employment between ages 50 and 70. These effects are larger among high-school dropouts and tend to drop with education; they are also larger in the US than in England. Finally, cognition has little added explanatory power once we also control for health, suggesting that cognition is not a key driver of employment at these ages.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Blundell & Jack Britton & Monica Costa Dias & Eric French, 2017. "The impact of health on labour supply near retirement," IFS Working Papers W17/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:17/18
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    1. The impact of health on labour supply near retirement
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2018-02-20 19:27:23

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    Cited by:

    1. Kolsrud, Jonas & Landais, Camille & Spinnewijn, Johannes, 2017. "Studying consumption patterns using registry data: lessons from Swedish administrative data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 87777, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Margherita Borella & Mariacristina De Nardi & Fang Yang, 2017. "Marriage-Related Policies in an Estimated Life-Cycle Model of Households' Labor Supply and Savings for Two Cohorts," NBER Working Papers 23972, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health; cognition; labor supply; retirement;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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