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Worried Sick? Worker Responses To Organizational Turmoil

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Author Info

  • Bratberg, Espen

    ()
    (University of Bergen,)

  • Monstad, Karin

    ()
    (HEB-Uni Rokkansenteret)

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    Abstract

    Sickness absence has risen over the past years in Norway. One explanation put forward is that a tougher labor market represents a health hazard, while a competing hypothesis predicts that loss of job security works as a disciplinary device. In this analysis we aim to trace a causal impact of organizational turmoil or job insecurity on sickness absence, applying a difference-in-difference approach. Utilizing a negative financial shock that hit specific employers and workplaces, we find that sickness absence decreased considerably in the following year. The decrease is substantially larger among male than among female employees, and stronger for days of sickness absence than for its incidence. Acknowledgements: The paper has benefited from comments at the 2011 Norwegian Social Insurance Research Meeting in Lillehammer and the 2012 HEB/HERO workshop in Geilo. We are also grateful for information from Ingvar Linde, Jan G. Myrvang, and chief executives of the eight municipalities impacted by the financial shock. Remaining errors are the authors’ sole responsibility. Financial support from the Norwegian Research Council (Grant 187912) is gratefully acknowledged.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Bergen, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 08/12.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: 30 Apr 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2012_008

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Institutt for økonomi, Universitetet i Bergen, Postboks 7802, 5020 Bergen, Norway
    Phone: (+47)55589200
    Fax: (+47)55589210
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    Web page: http://www.uib.no/econ/en
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    Related research

    Keywords: Worker absenteeism; sickness absence; organizational schange; job security; difference-in-differences;

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    References

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    1. Lindbeck, Assar & Palme, Mårten & Persson, Mats, 2006. "Job Security and Work Absence: Evidence form a Natural Experiment," Seminar Papers 743, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    2. 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.
    3. Arai, Mahmood & Thoursie, Peter Skogman, 2005. "Incentives and selection in cyclical absenteeism," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 269-280, April.
    4. Hesselius, Patrik & Johansson, Per & Nilsson, Peter, 2009. "Sick of your colleagues' absence?," Working Paper Series 2009:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    5. 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.
    6. Badi H. Baltagi & Espen Bratberg & Tor Helge Holmås, 2003. "A Panel Data Study of Physicians’ Labor Supply: The Case of Norway," CESifo Working Paper Series 895, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    8. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 2005. "Moral hazard and sickness insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1879-1890, September.
    9. Bradley, Steve & Green, Colin & Leeves, Gareth, 2007. "Worker absence and shirking: Evidence from matched teacher-school data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-334, June.
    10. Barmby, Tim & Orme, Chris D & Treble, John, 1990. "Worker Absenteeism: An Analysis Using Microdata," CEPR Discussion Papers 434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. 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.
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