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The effect of self-employment on health: Instrumental variables analysis of longitudinal social security data

Judite Gonçalves and Pedro Martins

No 245, GLO Discussion Paper Series from Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Abstract: The growth of novel flexible work formats raises a number of questions about their effects upon health and the potential public policy implications. However, answering these questions is hampered by data and identification constraints. This is the first paper that draws on comprehensive longitudinal administrative data to examine the impact of self-employment in terms of health. In addition to variation in work status of each individual over time, we also consider variation driven by a number of novel instrumental variables. We also focus on an objective health outcome |hospital admissions| that is not subject to recall or other biases that may affect previous studies. Our findings, based on a representative sample of over 100,000 individuals followed monthly from 2005 to 2011 in Portugal, indicate that self-employment tends to reduce the likelihood of hospital admission by at least half.

Keywords: Self-employment; hospitalization; sick leave; mortality; instrumental variables (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C26 I18 J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur and nep-lma
Date: 2018
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