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Trade Union Membership and Sickness Absence: Evidence from a Sick Pay Reform

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  • Laszlo Goerke
  • Markus Pannenberg

Abstract

In 1996, statutory sick pay was reduced for private sector workers in Germany. Using the empirical observation that trade union members are dismissed less often than non-members, we construct a model to predict how absence behaviour will respond to the sick pay reform. We show that union members may have stronger incentives to be absent and to react to the cut in sick pay. In the empirical investigation, we find a positive relationship between trade union membership and absence due to sickness and observe more pronounced reactions to the cut in sick pay among union members than among non-members. These findings suggest that more flexibility in the use of paid absence due to sickness constitutes a private gain from trade union membership.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 470.

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Length: 33 p.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp470

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Keywords: Difference-in-differences; sickness-related absence; Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP); statutory sick pay; trade union membership;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Uwe Jirjahn, 2013. "Der Beitrag der Arbeitsmarktökonomik zur Erforschung von Gewerkschaften und Tarifvertragsbeziehungen in Deutschland," Research Papers in Economics 2013-03, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
  2. Nicolas R. Ziebarth & Martin Karlsson, 2014. "The Effects Of Expanding The Generosity Of The Statutory Sickness Insurance System," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 208-230, 03.
  3. Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2009. "Long-Term Absenteeism and Moral Hazard: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 172, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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