Unemployed, uneducated and sick: the effects of socioeconomic 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-952
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A, (Statistics in Society)
Issue number4
Early online date20 Sep 2008
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • education
  • health duration
  • unemployment
  • self-rated health
  • income inequality
  • regression-analysis
  • mental-health
  • mortality
  • unhappiness
  • hardship
  • gender
  • models
  • impact

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