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Health and Work of the Elderly: Subjective Health Measures, Reporting Errors and the Endogenous Relationship between Health and Work


  • Lindeboom, Maarten

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Kerkhofs, Marcel

    () (Tilburg University)


This paper aims to explore the interrelation between health and work decisions of elderly workers, taking the various ways in which health and work can influence each other explicitly into account. For this, two issues are of relevance. Self-assessed health measures are usually at hand in empirical analyses and research indicates that these may be endogenous, state dependent, reporting behaviour. Furthermore, even if an objective health measure is used, it is not likely to be strictly exogenous to labour market status or labour income. Health and labour market variables are correlated because of unobserved individual-specific characteristics (e.g., investments in human capital and health capital) Moreover, one’s labour market status is expected to have a (reverse) causal effect on health. A solution to the ‘Health and Retirement Nexus’ requires an integrated model for work decisions, health production and health reporting mechanisms. We formulate such a model and estimate it on a longitudinal dataset of Dutch elderly.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindeboom, Maarten & Kerkhofs, Marcel, 2002. "Health and Work of the Elderly: Subjective Health Measures, Reporting Errors and the Endogenous Relationship between Health and Work," IZA Discussion Papers 457, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp457

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard V. Burkhauser, 1979. "The Pension Acceptance Decision of Older Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 63-75.
    2. Marcel Kerkhofs & Maarten Lindeboom, 1997. "Age related health dynamics and changes in labour market status," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 407-423.
    3. Gloria J. Bazzoli, 1985. "The Early Retirement Decision: New Empirical Evidence on the Influence of Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(2), pages 214-234.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aysit Tansel & Halil Ibrahim Keskin, 2017. "Education Effects on Days Hospitalized and Days out of Work by Gender: Evidence from Turkey," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1721, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    2. Deschryvere, Matthias, 2004. "Labour Force Behavior of Elderly Two Adult Households: Evidence from EU-countries," Discussion Papers 933, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    3. Deschryvere, Matthias, 2004. "Health and Retirement. An Update of the Literature," Discussion Papers 932, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    4. Jan Erik Askildsen & Espen Bratberg & Øivind Anti Nilsen, 2005. "Unemployment, labor force composition and sickness absence: a panel data study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(11), pages 1087-1101.
    5. Udo Schneider & Christian Pfarr & Brit Schneider & Volker Ulrich, 2012. "I feel good! Gender differences and reporting heterogeneity in self-assessed health," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 13(3), pages 251-265, June.
    6. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael Shields, 2003. "Estimating The Causal Effect of Income on Health: Evidence from Post Reunification East Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 465, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    7. Mareva Sabatier & Bérangère Legendre, 2017. "The puzzle of older workers’ employment: distance to retirement and health effects," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 45-61, April.
    8. Melanie K. Jones, 2007. "Does Part-Time Employment Provide A Way Of Accommodating A Disability?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 75(6), pages 695-716, December.

    More about this item


    endogeneity; state dependent reporting errors; retirement; health;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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