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The Impact of Working Conditions on Sickness Absence : A Theoretical Model and an Empirical Application to Work Schedules

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  • Cédric AFSA

    (Crest)

  • Pauline GIVORD

    (Crest)

Abstract

This paper explores how poor working conditions impact sickness absence through their effecton health. Our contribution is two-fold. First, we develop a static theoretical model based on theconcept of health capital, wherein poor working conditions are partially compensated by higherwages. According to our model, the effect of working conditions on sickness absence isambiguous. Second, we apply our model to the case of working time arrangements and test theeffect of working irregular schedules or shift work on sickness absence, using data from theFrench Labor Force Survey on a specific population (male manual workers in the privatesector). As observed and unobserved heterogeneity may lead to severe bias, we use propensityscore matching methods. Our estimates show that working irregular schedules has a significantimpact on sickness absence. The results are more mitigated for shift work. In any case, theextent crucially depends on age.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique in its series Working Papers with number 2009-06.

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Length: 28
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2009-06

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  1. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  2. 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.
  3. Cropper, M L, 1977. "Health, Investment in Health, and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1273-94, December.
  4. Dehejia, R.H. & Wahba, S., 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-Experimental Causal Studies," Discussion Papers 1998_02, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. Steven G. Allen, 1981. "Compensation, safety, and absenteeism: Evidence from the paper industry," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(2), pages 207-218, January.
  6. Arai, Mahmood & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2001. "Incentives and Selection in Cyclical Absenteeism," Working Paper Series 167, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Michael Lechner, 2002. "Program Heterogeneity And Propensity Score Matching: An Application To The Evaluation Of Active Labor Market Policies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 205-220, May.
  8. Brown, Sarah & Sessions, John G, 1996. " The Economics of Absence: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 23-53, March.
  9. Per Johansson & Mårten Palme, 2002. "Assessing the Effect of Public Policy on Worker Absenteeism," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 381-409.
  10. Ose, Solveig Osborg, 2005. "Working conditions, compensation and absenteeism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 161-188, January.
  11. Denis Bolduc & Bernard Fortin & France Labrecque & DPaul Lanoie, 2002. "Workers' Compensation, Moral Hazard and the Composition of Workplace Injuries," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 623-652.
  12. Sickles, Robin C & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "An Analysis of the Health and Retirement Status of the Elderly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1339-56, November.
  13. Lanfranchi, Joseph & Ohlsson, Henry & Skalli, Ali, 2001. "COMPENSATING WAGE DIFFERENTIALS AND SHIFT WORK PREFERENCES. Evidence from France," Working Papers in Economics 55, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  14. Michel Grignon & Thomas Renaud, 2007. "Sickness and injury leave in France: moral hazard or strain?," Working Papers DT4, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Feb 2007.
  15. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  16. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 2005. "Moral hazard and sickness insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1879-1890, September.
  17. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
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