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Title: An investigation into the impact of health and health related behaviour on employment and wages in China
Author: Cui, Xuan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 4580
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis examines the impact of health and health-related behaviour on labour market outcomes in China. The data source used in this analysis is the second - seventh waves (1991, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2006) of the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS). The main analysis focuses on these related issues: the impact of health on employment; the impact of health on wages; and the impact of health-related behaviour on employment and wages. This thesis provides new evidence to the limited existing evidence which examines the effect of health on labour market outcomes for the Chinese working-age population and therefore adds to the international literature in this area. It also provides evidence to policy makers, including the 17th and the 18th National Congress of China on improving the health of the whole nation. Chapter 1 outlines the motivation and objectives of the thesis. Chapter 2 briefly reviews the labour market and the health care system in China. Chapter 3 provides detailed description of the CHNS, and an overview of health and labour market outcomes in China. Chapter 4 examines the effect of self-reported health status and obesity (as measured by Body Max Index (BMI)) on the probability of being employed. The empirical strategy involves a Random Effects (RE) probit model, a Fixed Effects (FE) logit model, and a recursive bivariate probit model which controls for the potential endogeneity of health. The results show that having better health status is found to be positively associated with employment for the Chinese working-age population. There is a statistically significant and negative relationship between having an unhealthy BMI and employment. These findings are consistent with the international literature. There is evidence of discrimination against people who have unhealthy body weight, when assuming SRHS completely capture the impact of health on productivity. The results are found to be vary within the population, the result finds that the positive relationship between better health and employment is larger for men and older working-age population than for women and the young working-age population, respectively. Furthermore, failure to account for the endogeneity of being overweight underestimates its impact on employment and this is consistent with international literature. Chapter 5 estimates the impact of self-reported health status and obesity on hourly wages for non-agricultural employees. In addition to using the RE and the FE model, the analysis uses a Two Stage Least Squares (2SLS) and a Heckman (1979) selection correction method to separately control for the potential endogeneity of health and sample selection bias. The results show that having excellent health status is positively correlated with hourly wages for the Chinese workers. However, having an unhealthy BMI does not have a statistically significant effect on wages. However, for female workers being obese is predicted to reduce hourly wages by 22.40% compared to their normal weight counterparts, which is larger than that of the international literature. Based on the 2SLS method, the null hypothesis of exogeneity of health cannot be rejected for all sample groups within the Chinese population. However, the statistically significant and positive relationship between better health and wages largely disappears after controlling for sample selection bias. Chapter 6 examines the simultaneous effect of drinking alcohol and smoking status on employment and wages. To allow for the potential endogeneity of drinking and smoking simultaneously, this chapter adopts Newey (1978)'s two-step and 2SLS methods to estimate the effect on employment and wages, respectively. For the overall population, both drinking and smoking status are found to be positively correlated with employment but not with hourly wages. The results confirm the literature that there is a positive and inverse U-shaped relationship between drinking and employment, which is also robust across different ways of measuring drinking behaviour. Smoking incidence is found to be positively correlated with employment for men but not for women. Furthermore, there is no evidence of endogeneity of drinking or smoking. Chapter 7 summarizes the key findings, explores the policy implications, and identifies limitations and issues for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available