On Friday 25 October at 12.45 hrs. Zornitza Kambourova will defend her PhD thesis Women’s Adverse Health Events and Labor Market Participation.
What are the consequences of a serious illness for women's careers? PhD student Zornitza Kambourova discovered that after a serious health problem, women with a permanent employment contract remain employed more often than women with a temporary contract. Changes in salary depended on the specific health problems they experienced. And: that, for example, the nationwide breast cancer screening program not only helps to detect the disease early but also has a positive impact on employment afterwards. Access to the breast cancer screening programme leads to a higher chance to work after the diagnosis. In addition, this program reduces the mortality of women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Chronic disease has a negative effect on wage trends
Another interesting conclusion that Kambourova draws is that the changes in market participation were similar after different types of health problems, but the changes in salary were related to the type of health problem that the diagnosed woman experienced. In the case of a chronic disease, for example, the effect on wage trends was relatively negative.
Relationship between income and care
With regard to the employment of the husbands of the women who were diagnosed with breast cancer, the results of the Kambourova study show that they reduce their employment to provide caregiving even though they could take caregiving leave, thus suggesting that the legally allowed caregiving leave may not be sufficient.
In addition, the researcher found a new social phenomenon in the care of women diagnosed with breast cancer: caregiving was observed only in the families where the wife was working before the breast cancer diagnosis and there is income replacement during the sick leave period.
Zornitza Kambourova is Consultant at Quint and a PhD student at the Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.).