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The Effect of Health Changes and Long-Term Health on the Work Activity of Older Canadians

  • Au, Doreen


    (McMaster University)

  • Crossley, Thomas F.


    (University of Essex)

  • Schellhorn, Martin


    (University of Kiel)

Using longitudinal data from the Canadian National Population Health Survey (NPHS), we study the relationship between health and employment among older Canadians. We focus on two issues: (1) the possible endogeneity of self-reported health, particularly "justification bias", and (2) the relative importance of health changes and long-term health in the decision to work. The NPHS contains the HUI3, an "objective" health index which has been gaining popularity in empirical work. We contrast estimates of the impact of health on employment using self-assessed health, the HUI3, and a "purged" health measure similar to that employed by Bound et al. (1999) and Disney et al. (2003). A direct test suggests that self-assessed health suffers from justification bias. However, the HUI3 provides estimates that are similar to the "purged" health measure. We also corroborate recent U.S. and U.K. findings that changes in health are important in the work decision.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1281.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1281
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  1. Michael Baker & Mark Stabile & Catherine Deri, 2004. "What Do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  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. 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.
  4. Kathleen McGarry, 2002. "Health and Retirement: Do Changes in Health Affect Retirement Expectations?," NBER Working Papers 9317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in Canada," NBER Working Papers 6308, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
  7. Brent Kreider, 1999. "Latent Work Disability and Reporting Bias," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 734-769.
  8. John Bound & Michael Schoenbaum & Todd R. Stinebrickner & Timothy Waidmann, 1998. "The Dynamic Effects of Health on the Labor Force Transitions of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 6777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Verbeek, M. & Nijman, T., 1990. "Testing For Selectivity Bias In Panel Data Models," Papers 9018, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  10. Maki, Dennis R, 1993. "The Economic Implications of Disability Insurance in Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages S148-69, January.
  11. Kerkhofs, Marcel & Lindeboom, Maarten & Theeuwes, Jules, 1999. "Retirement, financial incentives and health," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 203-227, June.
  12. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, December.
  13. Hugo Ben�tez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & Hiu Man Chan & Sofia Cheidvasser & John Rust, 2004. "How large is the bias in self-reported disability?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 649-670.
  14. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1999. "How do retirement tests affect the labour supply of older men?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 27-51, January.
  15. Steven Stern, 1989. "Measuring the Effect of Disability on Labor Force Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 361-395.
  16. Debra S. Dwyer & Olivia S. Mitchell, . "Health Problems as Determinants of Retirement: Are Self-Rated Measures Endogenous?," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-7, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  17. Nijman, T.E. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 1992. "Testing for selectivity in panel data models," Other publications TiSEM 7ec34a6c-1d84-4052-971c-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  18. Doorslaer, Eddy van & Jones, Andrew M., 2003. "Inequalities in self-reported health: validation of a new approach to measurement," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 61-87, January.
  19. Emile Tompa, 1999. "Transitions to Retirement: Determinants of Age of Social Security Take Up," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 6, McMaster University.
  20. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2001. "The Retirement Incentive Effects of Canada's Income Security Programs," NBER Working Papers 8658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1999. "Early Retirement Provisions and the Labor Force Behavior of Older Men: Evidence from Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 724-56, October.
  23. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2007. "Disability and Employment: Reevaluating the Evidence in Light of Reporting Errors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 102, pages 432-441, June.
  24. Campolieti, Michele, 2002. "Disability and the labor force participation of older men in Canada," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 405-432, July.
  25. Disney, Richard & Emmerson, Carl & Wakefield, Matthew, 2006. "Ill health and retirement in Britain: A panel data-based analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 621-649, July.
  26. Jon A. Breslaw & Morton Stelcner, 1987. "The Effect of Health on the Labor Force Behavior of Elderly Men in Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(4), pages 490-517.
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