Consequences and Predictors of New Health Events
NBER Working Paper No. 10063
Smith uses the HRS and AHEAD panels to examine the consequences of new health on a series of SES related outcomes- out-of-pocket labor supply, labor force activity, household income and wealth. For each of these outcomes, new severe health events have a significant effect although most of the impact on income and wealth takes place through labor supply and not not medical expenses. The paper also examines the ability of different measures of SES to predict the future onset of disease. The author finds no predictive effect of income or wealth but education does predict future onset even after controlling for current health status. The reasons for this continuing predictive effect of education are explored in the paper.