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The effects of ill health on displacement from the labour market and potential impact of prevention

Burdorf, Alex, Tilja, van den Berg, Avendano, Mauricio, Kunst, Anton and Mackenbach, Johan P. (2008) The effects of ill health on displacement from the labour market and potential impact of prevention. In: Borsch-Supan, Axel, Brugiavini, Agar, Jürges, Hendrik, Kapteyn, Arie, Mackenbach, Johan P., Siegrist, Johannes and Weber, Guglielmo, (eds.) First Results From the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (2004-2007): Starting the Longitudinal Dimension. Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA), Mannheim, Germany, pp. 137-142. ISBN 9783000249693

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In many industrialised countries the population is ageing, due to increasing life expectancy and falling birth rates. A rather paradoxical development is that, despite the increased life expectancy, the average time people spend in paid work was decreased in most European countries. Young people enter the labour market at later age due to prolonged education and most older workers exit the labor market before the statutory retirement age. Thus, many countries are developing policies to increase the duration of working life, especially among older workers. Clearly, the success of these policies will depend on a better understanding of aging in the work force and the particular role of health in continuing work or withdrawal from the labour market. There is ample evidence on the relation between unemployment and ill-health, showing that unemployment may affect people’s health but also that health may determine the selection into and out of the workforce (Bartley, 1994). There is an increasing awareness that among older workers ill-health does not only affect unemployment, but may also drive selection out of the workforce into other forms of non-employment, such as early retirement and staying home to take care of the family. A cross-sectional analysis of the baseline date from the Survey on Health and Ageing in Europe (SHARE study) showed a large variation across European countries in the proportion of persons 50-65 years with paid employment. Furthermore, a perceived poor health was strongly associated with nonparticipation in the labour force in most countries. Long-term illnesses such as depression, stroke, diabetes, chronic lung disease, and musculoskeletal disease were significantly more common among those persons not having paid employment (Alavinia, M., Burdorf, 2008). A longitudinal study among European countries showed that ill health was a risk factor for transitions between paid employment and various forms of non-employment, including retirement, unemployment, and taking care of a household (Schuring, Burdorf, Kunst, and Mackenbach, 2007). Against this background, the aims of this study were (i) to assess the strength of the association between ill health and becoming unemployed, retired, homemaker, or disabled in Europe, and (ii) to investigate the potential impact on withdrawal from paid employment or health prevention policies that would completely eliminate the adverse effects of ill health on labour market participation.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Lifecourse, Ageing & Population Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2013 15:27
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 05:16
Funders: European Commission

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