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

Health and Labor Force Participation of Older Men, 1900-1991

  • Dora L. Costa

I investigate how the relationship between health status and retirement among older men has changed since 1900 using weight adjusted for height or Body Mass Index (BMI) as a proxy for health. I find that both in 1900 and in 1985-1991 the relative risk of labor force non-participation increases for the excessively lean and obese and that the BMI level that minimizes the relative risk of labor force non-participation remains unchanged. However, in 1900 both the relative risk of non-participation among men at low and high BMI levels and the elasticity of non-participation with respect to BMI were greater than today, suggesting that health is now less important to the retirement decision than in the past. The difference in the relative risk of non-participation is especially pronounced at high BMI levels. Declining physical job demands and improved control of chronic conditions may explain the difference. The findings suggest that the impact of improvements in health on participation rates is increasingly more likely to be outweighed by the impact of other factors. Greater efforts made to increase the incorporation of the old and disabled into the labor force may therefore have a minimal impact on retirement rates. The findings also imply that in the past the economic costs of poor health were substantial.

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/w4929.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4929.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Nov 1994
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Economic History, vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 62-89, March 1996.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4929
Note: AG DAE HE 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.orgEmail:


More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

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:4929. 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.