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  • 1.
    Vega, Alejandro
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet, Nationalekonomi.
    Essays on health, labor market behavior, and economic incentives2024Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Paper [1] analyzes how the labor force participation changes in response to major health shocks, such as new cancer diagnoses, heart attacks, and strokes, in middle-aged to elderly Mexican couples, and how the spouses interact in their responses. The data originates from the Mexican Health and Aging Study and provides information on how couples coordinate their labor market activities in response to major health shocks. The results show that women’s labor force participation is negatively affected by a major health shock to their husbands. In contrast, men’s labor force participation does not change significantly in response to a major health shock to their wives.

    Paper [2] focuses on the correlation between negative health shocks and the households’ share of wealth held in risky assets. By using U.S. data from the Health and Retirement Study, we try to establish a link between negative health shocks and financial outcomes such as the household’s probability of owning risky assets and the share of risky assets held. We define a recent negative health shock to include cancer or malignant tumour diagnoses, stroke or transient ischemic attack, heart attack, coronary heart disease, angina, congestive heart failure, or other heart problems. We find tha tthe probability of owning risky assets and the share of risky assets are significantly lower among households where the women has experienced a negative health shock. In contrast, neither thep robability of owning risky assets nor the share of risky assets held by the household are significantly associated with a negative health shock to the man.

    Paper [3] investigates whether job loss can cause symptoms of depression in later life. We focus on couples aged 50 or older. We use data from the Health and Retirement Study, which provides longitudinal information about changes in labor market status and mental health outcomes among respondents and their spouses in the United States. To deal with potential reverse causality problems, we utilize data on job loss resulting from business closures. We find that job loss can lead to depressive symptoms for the affected individual’s partner. The effects are gendered, as women are negatively affected by job losses experienced by their husbands, but we do not observe such harmful effects among men whose wives lose their jobs. We also show how the effects of job loss vary across couples with differing levels of economic resources and health care needs, as well as differential access tohealth care.

    Paper [4] estimates the labor supply response to an increase in the marginal wage rate among middle-aged to elderly Mexican women. Using data from the National Survey of Occupation and Employment, I find that an increase in the marginal wage rate is associated with an increase in worked hours. The results suggest that the marginal wage rate elasticities are larger for older women than for their younger counterparts. 

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  • 2.
    Vega, Alejandro
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet, Nationalekonomi.
    Major health shocks and decisions about labour force participation amongst Mexican couples2019Rapport (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study is to analyze the labour force participation response to major health shocks, such as new cancer diagnoses, heart attacks and strokes, in middle-aged to elderly Mexican couples. The data originate from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), and provides information on how couples coordinate their labour market activities in response to major health shocks. I find that female labour force participation is negatively affected by a major health shock to her spouse. In contrast, there is not a significant effect of a female negative health shock on her spouse’s labour force participation. I find the same result when the labour force participation is split between part-time work and full-time work.

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  • 3.
    Vega, Alejandro
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet, Nationalekonomi.
    The labor supply of elderly Mexican women2023Rapport (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper estimates the labor supply response to an increase in the marginal wage rate among middle-aged to elderly Mexican women. Using data from the National Survey of Occupation and Employment, I find that an increase in the marginal wage rate is associated with an increase in worked hours. The results suggest that the marginal wage rate elasticities are greater for older women than for their younger counterparts.

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  • 4.
    Vega, Alejandro
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet, Nationalekonomi.
    Baranowska-Rataj, Anna
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Sociologiska institutionen. Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Enheten för demografi och åldrandeforskning (CEDAR).
    The effects of involuntary job losses on depressive symptoms among couples2021Rapport (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    The way job loss affects mental health within couples attracts increasing attention. While previous studies focused on the working-age population, this paper investigates how job loss affects spouses’ depressive symptoms in later life. We focus on spouses aged 50 or older, who represent a vulnerable segment of the labor market, and who also have a high prevalence of depressive symptoms. We use data from the Health and Retirement Study, which provides longitudinal information about changes in labor market status and mental health outcomes among respondents and their spouses in the United States. To deal with potential reverse causality problems, we utilize data on job loss resulting from business closures. We find that job loss may affect the levels of depressive symptoms among the spouses of older adults who experience these adverse life course events. The effects are gendered, as women are negatively affected by job losses experienced by their husbands, but we do not observe such harmful effects among men whose wives lose their jobs. We also show how the effects of job loss vary across couples with differing levels of economic resources and health care needs, as well as differential access to health care.

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  • 5.
    Vega, Alejandro
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet, Nationalekonomi.
    Velli, Evangelia
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet, Företagsekonomi.
    Health and the share of wealth held in risky assets2020Rapport (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper focuses on the correlation between negative health shocks and the households’ shareof wealth held in risky assets. By using U.S. data from the Health and Retirement Study, we try toestablish a link between negative health shocks and financial outcomes such as a household’s probabilityof owning risky assets and share of risky assets held. In our definition of a recent negative health shock,we include: cancer or malignant tumor diagnoses, stroke or transient ischemic attack, and heart attack,coronary heart disease, angina, congestive heart failure, or other heart problems. We find an importantnegative correlation between a negative health shock to the female and her household’s probabilityof owning risky assets and share of risky assets held, respectively. In contrast, we do not find acorresponding statistically significant correlation for males.

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