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New Evidence on the Determinants of Absenteeism Using Linked Employer-Employee Data

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  • Georges Dionne
  • Benoit Dostie

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the determinants of absenteeism. The authors extend the typical labor-leisure model used to analyze the decision to skip work to include firm-level policy variables relevant to the absenteeism decision and uncertainty about the cost of absenteeism. Estimates based on data from Statistics Canada’s Workplace Employee Survey (1999–2002), with controls for observed and unobserved demographic, job, and firm characteristics (including workplace practices), indicate that work arrangements were important determinants of absence. For example, the authors find strong evidence that standard weekday work hours, work-at-home options, and reduced workweeks were associated with reduced absence, whereas shift work and compressed work weeks were associated with increased absence.

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Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 61 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 108-120

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:61:y:2007:i:1:p:108-120

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References

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  1. Dionne, G. & Eeckhoudt, L., 1984. "Proportional Risk Aversion, Taxation and Labor Supply Under Uncertainty," Cahiers de recherche 8441, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  2. Barmby, Tim & Orme, Chris D & Treble, John, 1990. "Worker Absenteeism: An Analysis Using Microdata," CEPR Discussion Papers 434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 1996. "Do economic incentives affect work absence? Empirical evidence using Swedish micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 195-218, February.
  4. Jessica P. Vistnes, 1997. "Gender differences in days lost from work due to illness," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(2), pages 304-323, January.
  5. Henrekson, Magnus & Persson, Mats, 2001. "The Effects on Sick Leave of Changes in the Sickness Insurance System," Seminar Papers 697, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  6. Miguel A. Delgado & Thomas J. Kniesner, 1997. "Count Data Models With Variance Of Unknown Form: An Application To A Hedonic Model Of Worker Absenteeism," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 41-49, February.
  7. Donna B. Gilleskie, 1998. "A Dynamic Stochastic Model of Medical Care Use and Work Absence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 1-46, January.
  8. Robert Drago & Mark Wooden, 1992. "The determinants of labor absence: Economic factors and workgroup norms across countries," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(4), pages 764-778, July.
  9. Jerry A. Hausman & Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," NBER Technical Working Papers 0017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710 Elsevier.
  11. Blomquist, N. Soren, 1983. "The effect of income taxation on the labor supply of married men in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 169-197, November.
  12. Johansson, Per & Palme, Mårten, 2001. "Assessing the effect of public policy on worker absenteeism," Working Paper Series 2002:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  13. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Trognon, Alain, 1984. "Pseudo Maximum Likelihood Methods: Applications to Poisson Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 701-20, May.
  14. Dunn, L F & Youngblood, Stuart A, 1986. "Absenteeism as a Mechanism for Approaching an Optimal Labor Market Equilibrium: An Empirical Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 668-74, November.
  15. Steven G. Allen, 1983. "How Much Does Absenteeism Cost?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(3), pages 379-393.
  16. Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1970. "Absenteeism and the Overtime Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 352-57, June.
  17. Kenyon, Peter & Dawkins, Peter, 1989. "A Time Series Analysis of Labour Absence in Australia," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 232-39, May.
  18. Nicholas Wilson & Michael J. Peel, 1991. "The impact on absenteeism and quits of profit-sharing and other forms of employee participation," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(3), pages 454-468, April.
  19. Allen, Steven G, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Work Attendance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 77-87, February.
  20. Barmby, Tim, 2002. "Worker absenteeism: a discrete hazard model with bivariate heterogeneity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-476, September.
  21. Göran Kauermann & Renate Ortlieb, 2004. "Temporal pattern in number of staff on sick leave: the effect of downsizing," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 53(2), pages 355-367.
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