Effects of Health on Own and Spousal Employment and Income Using Acute Hospital Admissions

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 11-143/3

47 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2011  

Pilar Garcia-Gomez

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Hans van Kippersluis

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Eddy van Doorslaer

Erasmus School of Economics

Date Written: October 11, 2011

Abstract

Ill-health can be expected to reduce employment and income. But are the effects sustained over time? Do they differ across the income distribution? And are there spillover effects on the employment and income of the spouse? We use matching combined with difference-in-differences to identify the causal effects of sudden illness, represented by acute hospitalizations, on employment and income up to six years after the health shock using linked Dutch hospital and tax register data. On average, an acute hospital admission lowers the employment probability by seven percentage points and results in a 5% loss of personal income (30% for those entering disability insurance) two years after the shock. There is no subsequent recovery in either employment or income. The distribution of ill-health contributes to income inequality: a health shock is both more likely to occur and to have a larger relative impact on employment and income at the bottom of the income distribution. There are large spillover effects: household income falls by 50% more than the income of the disabled person, and the employment probability of the spouse is reduced by 1.5 percentage points. The negative spousal employment effect is larger for male than for female spouses and in higher income households.

Keywords: health, disability, employment, income, propensity score matching

JEL Classification: I10, J21, J26

Suggested Citation

Garcia-Gomez, Pilar and van Kippersluis, Hans and van Doorslaer, Eddy, Effects of Health on Own and Spousal Employment and Income Using Acute Hospital Admissions (October 11, 2011). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 11-143/3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1942151 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1942151

Pilar Garcia Gomez (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Hans Van Kippersluis

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Eddy Van Doorslaer

Erasmus School of Economics ( email )

Netherlands

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