IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Health Shocks and Couples' Labor Supply Decisions

  • Courtney C. Coile

Unexpected health events such as a heart attack or new cancer diagnosis are very common for workers in their 50s and 60s. These health shocks can result in a significant loss in family income if the worker reduces labor supply, but the family can also protect itself against this loss if the worker's spouse increases labor supply, generating an "added worker effect." In this paper, I examine the effect of health shocks on the labor supply of both spouses using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). I find that shocks lead the affected worker to reduce labor supply dramatically, particularly if the shock is accompanied by a loss of functioning. I also find that the added worker effect is small for men and that there is no such effect for women. There is some evidence to suggest that families respond to health shocks in predictable ways depending on characteristics such as access to retiree health insurance. The study concludes that health shocks result in real financial losses for families and are an important source of financial risk for older households.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10810.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10810.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10810
Note: AG LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1994. "Retirement in a Family Context: A Structural Model for Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 4629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James Smith, 2005. "Consequences and Predictors of New Health Events," NBER Chapters, in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 213-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kathryn H. Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser, 1985. "The Retirement-Health Nexus: A New Measure of an Old Puzzle," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(3), pages 315-330.
  4. Chirikos, Thomas N. & Nestel, Gilbert, 1984. "Economic determinants and consequences of self-reported work disability," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 117-136, August.
  5. Hanoch, Giora & Honig, Marjorie, 1983. "Retirement, Wages, and Labor Supply of the Elderly," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 131-51, April.
  6. Debra Sabatini Dwyer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1998. "Health Problems as Determinants of Retirement: Are Self-Rated Measures Endogenous?," NBER Working Papers 6503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Michael Baker, . "The Retirement Behavior of Married Couples: Evidence From The Spouse’s Allowance," Department of Economics 99-03, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  8. Bound, John & Schoenbaum, Michael & Stinebrickner, Todd R. & Waidmann, Timothy, 1999. "The dynamic effects of health on the labor force transitions of older workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 179-202, June.
  9. Gruber, J. & Madrian, B.C., 1994. "Health Insurance Availability and the Retirement Decision," Working papers 94-04, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Michael Baker & Mark Stabile & Catherine Deri, 2001. "What do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?," NBER Working Papers 8419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michael D. Hurd, 1988. "The Joint Retirement Decision of Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 2803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1980. "Unemployment as Disequilibrium in a Model of Aggregate Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 547-64, April.
  13. Lundberg, Shelly, 1985. "The Added Worker Effect," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 11-37, January.
  14. Coile Courtney, 2004. "Retirement Incentives and Couples' Retirement Decisions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, July.
  15. 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.
  16. Jonathan Gruber & Julie Berry Cullen, 1996. "Spousal Labor Supply as Insurance: Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Outthe Added Worker Effect?," NBER Working Papers 5608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Mark B. McClellan, 1998. "Health Events, Health Insurance, and Labor Supply: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 301-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10810. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.