Health and Work in the Family: Evidence from Spouses? Cancer Diagnoses

from Health Economics at http://bit.ly/2aEWb2j on July 30, 2016 at 02:10PM


Changes in health status may affect not just the individuals who experience such changes, but also their family members. For example, if the main earner in a family loses his or her ability to generate income due to a health shock, it invariably affects the financial situation of the spouse and other dependents. In addition, spouses and working-age children may themselves increase or reduce their labour supply to make up for the lost income (?added worker effect?) or care for a sick family member (?caregiver effect?). Since consumption smoothing and self-insurance occur at the household level, the financial effects of health for other family members have important policy implications. To shed light on such effects, this study analyzes how one spouse?s cancer diagnosis affects the employment and earnings of the other spouse and (before-tax) total family income using administrative data from Canada.