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Interrelated Dynamics of Health and Poverty in Australia

  • Buddelmeyer, Hielke


    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

  • Cai, Lixin


    (NILS, Flinders University)

Using the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, this study examines the joint dynamics of health and poverty in Australian families. Taking advantage of panel data, the modelling approach used in this study allows a better estimation of the causal relationship between health and poverty. The results indicate that the causality between health and poverty runs both ways and the relationship is confounded by unobserved heterogeneity. In particular, it is found that families headed by a person in ill-health are more likely to be in poverty compared with families headed by a person with good health. On the other hand, a family head whose family is in poverty in the current year is more likely to be in ill-health in the next year compared with a family head whose family is not in poverty. In addition, there is evidence that health and poverty are affected by correlated unobservables, causing health to be endogenous to poverty even in the absence of a reverse effect from poverty on health. Consequently, treating health as exogenous in a poverty equation would produce biased estimates.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4602.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4602
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  1. 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.
  2. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  3. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766555, September.
  4. Paul Frijters, 2005. "The causal effect of income on health: Evidence from German reunification," Paul Frijters Discussion Papers 2005-2, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  5. 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.
  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. 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.
  8. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1982. "Health and Wage: A Simultaneous Equation Model with Multiple Discrete Indicators," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 23(1), pages 199-221, February.
  9. 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.
  10. Robert Haveman & Mark Stone & Barbara Wolfe, 1989. "Market Work, Wages, and Men's Health," NBER Working Papers 3020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. 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.
  13. 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.
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