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Sickness Absence and Peer Effects -Evidence from a Swedish Municipality

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  • Bokenblom, Mattias

    ()
    (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics)

  • Ekblad, Kristin

    ()
    (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics)

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    Abstract

    In this paper we use detailed employment records to study to what extent sickness absence among work group colleagues influences individual sickness absence. Our results indicate an overall positive peer effect. However, further analysis show peer behavior to be important for women’s sickness absence, but not for men’s, and that woman are only affected by their female co-workers. Our findings also suggest that it, on average, takes two to three years for a new employee to become influenced by the absence pattern of the work group. In light of our results, we cannot rule out the possibility of social norms being important to the individual sick leave decision.

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    File URL: http://www.oru.se/PageFiles/15374/wp%202007%20-11%20rev%202.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Örebro University, School of Business in its series Working Papers with number 2007:11.

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    Length: 23 pages
    Date of creation: 26 Nov 2007
    Date of revision: 19 Feb 2008
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:oruesi:2007_011

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Örebro University School of Business, SE - 701 82 ÖREBRO, Sweden
    Phone: 019-30 30 00
    Fax: 019-33 25 46
    Web page: http://www.oru.se/Institutioner/Handelshogskolan-vid-Orebro-universitet/
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    Keywords: Peer effects; sickness absence; social norms;

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    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Arai, Mahmood & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2001. "Incentives and Selection in Cyclical Absenteeism," Working Paper Series 167, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jšrgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms And Economic Incentives In The Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35, February.
    4. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704, May.
    5. Johansson, Per & Palme, Mårten, 1998. "Assessing the effect of a compulsory sickness insurance on worker absenteeism," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 287, Stockholm School of Economics.
    6. 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.
    7. Henrekson, Magnus & Persson, Mats, 2001. "The Effects on Sick Leave of Changes in the Sickness Insurance System," Seminar Papers 697, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    8. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 7580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Lundborg, Petter, 2006. "Having the wrong friends? Peer effects in adolescent substance use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 214-233, March.
    10. Powell, Lisa M. & Tauras, John A. & Ross, Hana, 2005. "The importance of peer effects, cigarette prices and tobacco control policies for youth smoking behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 950-968, September.
    11. Alejandro Gaviria & Steven Raphael, 2001. "School-Based Peer Effects And Juvenile Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 257-268, May.
    12. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Jacob M. Markman & Steven G. Rivkin, 2001. "Does Peer Ability Affect Student Achievement?," NBER Working Papers 8502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Maggi, 2000. "Work Environment And Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials In A Large Italian Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1057-1090, August.
    14. Ose, Solveig Osborg, 2005. "Working conditions, compensation and absenteeism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 161-188, January.
    15. Edward C. Norton & Richard C. Lindrooth & Susan T. Ennett, 1998. "Controlling for the endogeneity of peer substance use on adolescent alcohol and tobacco use," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(5), pages 439-453.
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