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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 1, 2006

The Labor Market Value of Health Improvements

Jay Bhattacharya and Darius Noshir Lakdawalla

We analyze the value to the labor force of improvements in survival and health over the years 1970 to 1999. We find that survival gains and reductions in the number of work-days missed due to poor health have added about 8 percent to the remaining labor force value of black males, and about the same to the value of 60 year-old white males. This is almost as large an effect as a full year of schooling. Gains for younger white males appear to be approximately 5%, and gains for women are around 2%. Overall, health improvements have added $1.5 trillion to the value of labor market human capital over this period.

Published Online: 2006-1-1

©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston

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