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Lifestyle risk factors, non-communicable diseases and labour force participation in South Africa

Nozuko Lawana, Frederik Booysen, Asrat Tsegaye, Forget Mingiri Kapingura and Charles Hongoro

Development Southern Africa, 2020, vol. 37, issue 3, 446-461

Abstract: This paper investigates the indirect effects of lifestyle risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases on labour force participation in South Africa utilising data from the National Income Dynamics Study. Endogenous multivariate probit models with a recursive simultaneous structure were employed in the study as a method of analysis. Findings showed a negative effect of non-communicable diseases on labour force participation. When the analysis was disaggregated by gender, the results showed that the effect of stroke and heart diseases were only significant for men, while diabetes and hypertension were only significant for women. The results also emphasised the significant indirect impact of obesity, physical activity and alcohol consumption on labour force participation through non-communicable diseases, especially for men. The policy implications of this study are thus gender-specific. These results can be used to inform the South African National Department of Health to strengthen current health strategies with the aim of reducing lifestyle risk factors and thus promoting sustained labour force participation rates in South Africa.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2019.1678459

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