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Does Sick Absence Increase the Risk of Unemployment?

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  • Hesselius, Patrik

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

The paper examines whether a worker's sick absence behaviour influences the risk of becoming unemployed. Swedish panel data are used to estimate the relationship between the incidence and duration of sick leave and subsequent unemployment. The results indicate that an increase in the number of sick leaves as well as an increase in the duration of sick spells is associated with higher risk of unemployment. Women have a significantly higher risk then men of unemployment associated with sick leave spells longer than 28 days. An implication of the results is that less absence-prone workers are more likely to remain employed in a recession. This in turn may in part explain the pro-cyclical pattern of aggregate Swedish sick absence rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2003:15.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 21 Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in Journal of SocioEconomics.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2003_015

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Email:
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Related research

Keywords: Sick leave; sickness insurance; health; unemployment; duration analysis;

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References

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  1. Henrekson, Magnus & Persson, Mats, 2001. "The Effects on Sick Leave of Changes in the Sickness Insurance System," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 0444, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 08 Aug 2001.
  2. Johansson, Kerstin, 2002. "Labor Market Programs, the Discouraged-Worker Effect, and Labor Force Participation," Working Paper Series 2002:16, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Arai, Mahmood & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2001. "Incentives and Selection in Cyclical Absenteeism," Working Paper Series 167, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
  5. Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002. "Unemployment, labour force composition and sickness absence. A panel data study," Working Papers in Economics 05/02, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  6. Kaivanto, Kim, 1997. "An alternative model of pro-cyclical absenteeism," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 29-34, January.
  7. Johansson, Kerstin, 2002. "Labor market programs, the discouraged-worker effect, and labor force participation," Working Paper Series 2002:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  8. Per-Anders Edin & Magnus Gustavsson, 2008. "Time out of Work and Skill Depreciation," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(2), pages 163-180, January.
  9. Edin, P.-A. & Fredriksson, P., 2000. "LINDA - Longitudinal INdividual DAta for Sweden," Papers 2000-19, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  10. Edin, P.-A. & Fredriksson, P. & Lundborg, P., 2000. "Trade, Earnings, and Mobility - Swedish Evidence," Papers 2000:24, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  11. Arai, Mahmood & Vilhelmsson, Roger, 2001. "Immigrants' and Natives' Unemployment-risk: Productivity Differentials or Discrimination?," Working Paper Series 169, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  12. Janet Currie & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1998. "Health, Health Insurance and the Labor Market," JCPR Working Papers 27, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  13. Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2002. "Reporting Sick: Are Sporting Events Contagious?," Research Papers in Economics 2002:4, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  14. Tim A. Barmby & Marco G. Ercolani & John G. Treble, 2002. "Sickness Absence: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F315-F331, June.
  15. Larsson, Laura, 2002. "Sick of being unemployed? Interactions between unemployment and sickness insurance in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2002:6, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  16. 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.
  17. Donna B. Gilleskie, 1998. "A Dynamic Stochastic Model of Medical Care Use and Work Absence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 1-46, January.
  18. Leigh, J. Paul, 1985. "The effects of unemployment and the business cycle on absenteeism," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 159-170, May.
  19. Larsson, Laura, 2002. "Sick of Being Unemployed? Interactions Between Unemployment and Sickness Insurance in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2002:5, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  20. Imbens, G W, 1994. "Transition Models in a Non-stationary Environment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 703-20, November.
  21. Askildsen, J.E. & Bratberg, E. & Nilsen, O.A., 2000. "Sickness Absence over the Business Cycle," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 0400, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Engström, Per & Holmlund, Bertil, 2007. "Worker Absenteeism in Search Equilibrium," IZA Discussion Papers 2947, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bertil Holmlund, 2004. "Sickness Absence and Search Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1227, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Fahr, René & Frick, Bernd, 2007. "On the Inverse Relationship between Unemployment and Absenteeism: Evidence from Natural Experiments and Worker Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 3171, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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