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Can sickness absence be affected by information meetings? Evidence from a social experiment

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  • Johansson, Per

    ()
    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

  • Lindahl, Erica

    ()
    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

Abstract

During the last decade several empirical studies have stressed the importance of norms and social interactions for explaining sickness absence behavior. In this context public discussions about the intentions of the insurance, and of the rights and duties of the receivers, may be important for reducing the sickness absence. In this paper we study whether information meetings about the Swedish sickness insurance affect the length of sickness absence spells. The study is based on experimental data on individuals with weak labor market attachments. The displacement of when the call to the meeting was sent out was randomized. Comparing the survival functions of those called immediately with those whose calls were delayed (by about 30 days) makes it possible to study whether the length of sickness absence is affected by receiving the call earlier. The result suggests that the length is reduced by, on average, 20 percent. In the long term (12 months later) there is no effect of the information meeting. This suggests that attendance to the information meeting does not change individuals’ long-term behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2010:11.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 28 Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Johansson, Per and Erica Lindahl, 'Can sickness absence be affected by information meetings? Evidence from a social experiment' in Empirical Economics, 2013, pages 1673-1695.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2010_011

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Keywords: monitoring; moral hazard; public social insurance; survival analysis; instrumental variables;

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References

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  1. Lars Pico Geerdsen, 2006. "Is there a Threat Effect of Labour Market Programmes? A Study of ALMP in the Danish UI System," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 738-750, 07.
  2. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörg Weibull, 2003. "Social Norms and Welfare State Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 931, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Larsson, Laura & Runeson, Caroline, 2007. "Moral hazard among the sick and unemployed: evidence from a Swedish social insurance reform," Working Paper Series 2007:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg, 2006. "Raising Children to Work Hard: Altruism, Work Norms, and Social Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1473-1503, November.
  5. Laura Larsson, 2006. "Sick of Being Unemployed? Interactions between Unemployment and Sickness Insurance," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 97-113, 03.
  6. Rosholm, Michael & Svarer, Michael, 2004. "Estimating the Threat Effect of Active Labour Market Programmes," IZA Discussion Papers 1300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Maggi, 1999. "Work Environment and Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials in a Large Italian Firm," NBER Working Papers 7415, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Krueger, Alan B. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2002. "Labor supply effects of social insurance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 33, pages 2327-2392 Elsevier.
  10. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 2003. "Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective Than the Services Themselves? Evidence from Random Assignment in the UI System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1313-1327, September.
  11. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2006. "The Growth in the Social Security Disability Rolls: A Fiscal Crisis Unfolding," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 71-96, Summer.
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Cited by:
  1. Engström, Per & Hägglund, Pathric & Johansson, Per, 2012. "Early Interventions and Disability Insurance: Experience from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6553, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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