While economists have posited that health investments increase earnings, isolating the causal effect of health is challenging due to reverse causality and unobserved heterogeneity. We examine the labor market effects of a randomized controlled trial, the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT), which monitored nearly 13,000 men for over six years. We find that this intervention, which provided a bundle of treatments to reduce coronary heart disease mortality, increased earnings and family income. We find few differences in estimated gains by baseline health and occupation characteristics.
Stephens, Melvin Jr., and Desmond Toohey.
"The Impact of Health on Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a Large-Scale Health Experiment."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials