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Older Married Workers and Nonstandard Jobs: The Effects of Health and Health Insurance




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       The authors’ affiliations are, respectively, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Department of Sociology, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA. E-mail: Jeffrey Wenger is Assistant Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Public Administration and Policy and Jeremy Reynolds is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology. Both are at the University of Georgia. Data, programs, and results are available from Jeffrey Wenger, 202 Baldwin Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, until January 2010.


We examine the effects of health and health insurance coverage on older married workers’ decisions to work in temporary, contract, part-time, self-employment, and regular full-time jobs. We model the behavior of older married workers as interdependent, showing that one spouse’s health and insurance status affects the employment of the other. In general, we find that men and women are less likely to be employed in regular full-time jobs when they are in fair or poor health and are more likely to be in regular full-time employment when their spouses are in poor health.