Effects of Breast and Colorectal Cancer on Labour Market Outcomes – Average Effects and Educational Gradients

Research report

November 2013


Externally reviewed

Study Paper No. 59


Written by: Eskil Heinesen and Christophe Kolodziejczy


This paper presents an estimation of the effects of breast and colorectal cancer on patients’ labour market status and income up to three years after diagnosis. Using Danish register data, the study estimates the average effects of these cancers by using propensity score weighting methods. Control groups are people who do not have cancer. The application of other statistical methods – matching and difference-in-differences – and the use of an alternative control group made up of people diagnosed with cancer at a later point in time both give much the same results. Cancer increases the risk of a person leaving the labour force and taking an invalidity pension, and the effects are greater for people with less education. The effects on income are small, and in most cases not statistically significant. The study also examines some of the mechanisms that may be significant for the social differences in the effects of cancer on labour market status. The paper is also published in the Journal of Health Economics 2013, vol. 32: pp. 1028-1042.