Lin, Peng (2009-05). Health status and the labor force participation decisions of married couples. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • This thesis examines the labor force participation decisions of married couples, and special attention is paid to a spouse's health conditions affecting their own and the spouse's labor force participation decision. I used the Health and Retirement Study survey data and estimated a seemingly unrelated bivariate probit model. A number of variables besides health condition were added: age, education level, and family unearned income. The results of this research paper support the findings from the relevant literature that the labor supply decisions of the husband and wife are related. The oldest age group is least likely to work. The younger the husband, the more likely it is that the husband will work. At the ages between 40 and 49, wives have the biggest probability to work. The higher the education level, the more likely it is that a spouse is going to work. The more total family unearned income, the less probable the spouse will go to work. Poor health has a negative effect on labor force participation and a positive effect for the spouse's labor force participation.

publication date

  • May 2009