Cancer and the Labor Market: International Comparisons and Implications
This session comprises three papers from researchers from three different countries and policy contexts. The session addresses the effect of health shocks on labor supply—an important topic in health and labor economics. The aging population combined with early detection and treatment has resulted in a working population that is remaining in the work force longer with a chronic condition. This is particularly relevant to cancer where new treatments have led to longer survival for most cancers. Furthermore, outpatient treatment has led to expectations that workers will continue performing their job responsibilities. In spite of this expectation, it is unclear how these workers respond. With a better understanding of the labor supply response to cancer, policy makers, employers, and workers can be better prepared for alterations in work and needs for rehabilitation. The first paper uses data from the UK to test whether labor supply responses to cancer are similar to the response to other chronic conditions. The second paper uses the Health and Retirement Study to examine endogeneity and how it can be overcome in labor supply estimations. The third paper estimates the long-term income effect resulting from childhood cancers. This paper uses clinical data linked with tax return data in Canada. Taken together, papers in this session provide an international perspective on labor supply response to cancer. In addition, new methods for estimation and data linkage are presented.