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Unemployed, uneducated and sick: the effects of socio-economic status on health duration in the European Union

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We employ a hazard function approach to estimate the effect of socio-economic and individual characteristics on the length of time that an individual remains in good health. The European Community Household Panel data set, for 13 European countries, for the years 1994–2002 is used. The study employs a relatively objective measure of physical health, the physical and mental health problems, illnesses and disabilities measure. The results show that socio-economic status does affect the likelihood of individuals entering bad health. In particular, unemployment experience increases and educational attainment decreases the probability that a person will cease to enjoy good health. Income effects are, however, somewhat weaker, being confined to a small number of countries and being mainly observed only for the highest income quartile. Age and gender effects are also found.

Keywords: Education; Health duration; Unemployment

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Aberdeen, UK

Publication date: 2008-10-01

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