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Keywords:

  • migraine headache;
  • wages;
  • labor force participation;
  • productivity

Summary

While migraine headache can be physically debilitating, no study has attempted to estimate its effects on labor market outcomes. Using data drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we estimate the effect of being diagnosed with migraine headache on labor force participation, hours worked, and wages. Ordinary least squares (OLS) estimates suggest that migraines are associated with reduced labor force participation and lower wages among females. A negative association between migraine headache and the wages of female respondents is also obtained using an instrumental variables (IV) approach, although the IV estimates are imprecise relative to the OLS estimates. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.