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The impact of health on wages: evidence for Europe

Ana Rodriguez-Alvarez and César Rodriguez-Gutierrez ()
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César Rodriguez-Gutierrez: University of Oviedo

The European Journal of Health Economics, 2018, vol. 19, issue 8, No 11, 1173-1187

Abstract: Abstract This paper analyses the effects of health on wages in sixteen European countries using production frontier methodology. It is assumed that workers have a potential income/productivity which basically depends on their human capital, but due to several health problems, situations could exist where workers fail to reach their potential income frontier. The estimation of a true-random-effects model allows us to conclude that the potential hourly wage of workers is significantly influenced by their level of education and their job experience. However, health problems, especially those strongly influencing work activities, contribute towards an individual not attaining the potential income which would otherwise be guaranteed by their human capital endowment. Suffering a strong limitation reduces gross wage per hour by 6.1%. This wage reduction is also observed in the case of a weak limitation, but here the wage difference with respect to workers without any limitation is 2.6%. Additionally, other factors, such as being a woman, the economic cycle or having a temporary contract, appear to distance an individual from their wage frontier.

Keywords: Wages; Health; Human capital; Mincer equations; Stochastic frontiers; Heteroscedasticity; J24; J31; I10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s10198-018-0966-2

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The European Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J.-M.G.v.d. Schulenburg

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