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Worker absenteeism and incentives: evidence from Italy

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  • Vincenzo Scoppa

Abstract

In Italy, employees are fully insured against earning losses due to illness. Since worker's health is not easily verifiable, absenteeism due to illness is considered an empirical proxy for employee shirking. The Bank of Italy Household Survey (SHIW) provides individual data on days of absence. Controlling for personal characteristics and potential determinants of health status and family responsibilities (age, gender, education, marital status, children at home), we show that the nature of employment contracts affects workers' incentives to provide effort: sickness absences, at least partially, hide opportunistic behaviours. The type of occupation and the labour contracts affects workers' behaviour in that more protected and difficult to monitor jobs show significantly higher levels of absenteeism: employees in public sector or in large firms, with permanent contracts or with longer tenure, individuals living in regions with low unemployment rates. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Managerial and Decision Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 8 (December)
Pages: 503-515

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Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:31:y:2010:i:8:p:503-515

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/7976

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  5. Ichino, Andrea & Maggi, Giovanni, 2000. "Work Environment And Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials In A Large Italian Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 2387, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Barmby, Tim & Stephan, Gesine, 2000. "Worker Absenteeism: Why Firm Size May Matter," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 68(5), pages 568-77, September.
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  11. Regina T. Riphahn & Anja Thalmaier, 2001. "Behavioral Effects of Probation Periods: An Analysis of Worker Absenteeism," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 221(2), pages 179-201.
  12. Cappelli, Peter & Chauvin, Keith, 1991. "An Interplant Test of the Efficiency Wage Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 769-87, August.
  13. Barmby, Tim & Sessions, John G & Treble, John G, 1994. " Absenteeism, Efficiency Wages and Shirking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 561-66.
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Cited by:
  1. Vincenzo Scoppa & Daniela Vuri, 2013. "Absenteeism, Unemployment and Employment Protection Legislation: Evidence from Italy," CEIS Research Paper 257, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 07 Jan 2013.
  2. De Luca, Giuliana & Ponzo, Michela, 2010. "Primary care utilisation and workers’ opportunity costs. Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 25486, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2009. "Performance Pay as an Incentive for Lower Absence Rates in Britain," MPRA Paper 18238, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Cristini, Annalisa & Origo, Federica & Pinoli, Sara, 2012. "The Healthy Fright of Losing a Good One for a Bad One," IZA Discussion Papers 6348, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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