Interactions between Health and Labour Market Outcomes over the Life Course

Author: Joanne Flavel

Flavel, Joanne, 2015 Interactions between Health and Labour Market Outcomes over the Life Course, Flinders University, National Institute of Labour Studies

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Fifteen per cent of the Australian working age population has some form of work-limiting health condition at any one time. There are many determinants of labour market activity and one of these is health. Health and the capacity to perform in the labour market are linked. This thesis explores the effects of poor health on under-examined labour market outcomes and indicators of accumulating disadvantage in Australia with a specific focus on the cumulative effects of poor health and what this means for lifetime earnings and disadvantage. I use longitudinal data, together with econometric modelling corrected for sources of bias through use of contemporary and tailored methods. The thesis analysed the extent to which health affects individuals’ choice of form of employment, their level of occupation and their lifetime earnings. The results suggest that poor health affects the nature and extent of employment over the life course in a way which significantly reduces lifetime earnings. While there is some effect of health on labour market outcomes for those who are employed, the main impact comes from withdrawal from the workforce.

Keywords: health, labour economics, labour market outcomes, HILDA survey, dynamic multinomial models, panel data, disadvantage

Subject: Natl Inst of Labour Studies thesis, Economics thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2015
School: National Institute of Labour Studies
Supervisor: Professor Sue Richardson