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Sickness Absence and Search Unemployment

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  • Holmlund, Bertil

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

The paper presents a model that allows a unified analysis of sickness absence and search unemployment. Sickness appears as random shocks to individual utility functions, interacts with individual search and labor supply decisions and triggers movements across labor force states. The employed worker prefers absence for sufficiently severe sickness and the unemployed worker may prefer nonparticipation if the disutility of search is amplified by sickness. The decisions governing labor force transitions are influenced by social insurance benefits available for sick or unemployed workers. We examine how these benefits affect individual decisions on absence and search and the implications for employment, unemployment and nonparticipation. The normative analysis of the socially optimal benefit structure suggests that there is, in general, a case for benefit differentiation across states of non-work. In particular, there is a case for a benefit structure that rewards active job search.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2004:6.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 10 Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2004_006

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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
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Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Keywords: Sickness absence; search; unemployment; sickness benefits; unemployment benefits;

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References

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  1. Jan Boone & Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund & Jan C. van Ours, 2007. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Monitoring and Sanctions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 399-421, 03.
  2. Garibaldi, Pietro & Wasmer, Etienne, 2001. "Labor Market Flows and Equilibrium Search Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 406, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Andrea Ichino & Regina T. Riphahn, 2001. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort. A Comparison of Absenteeism During and After Probation," CESifo Working Paper Series 596, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Brown, Sarah & Sessions, John G, 1996. " The Economics of Absence: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 23-53, March.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Stephen Nickell & D Nicolitsas, 1994. "Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0219, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Arai, Mahmood & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2001. "Incentives and Selection in Cyclical Absenteeism," Working Paper Series 167, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  12. Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1970. "Absenteeism and the Overtime Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 352-57, June.
  13. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment insurance and job search decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  14. Broström, Göran & Palme, Mårten & Johansson, Per, 2002. "Economic incentives and gender differences in work absence behavior," Working Paper Series 2002:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  15. Per Johansson & Mårten Palme, 2002. "Assessing the Effect of Public Policy on Worker Absenteeism," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 381-409.
  16. Barmby, Tim & Orme, Chris D & Treble, John, 1990. "Worker Absenteeism: An Analysis Using Microdata," CEPR Discussion Papers 434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Flinn, Christopher J & Heckman, James J, 1983. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-42, January.
  18. James J. Heckman & Christopher J. Flinn, 1982. "New Methods for Analyzing Structural Models of Labor Force Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 0856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Hesselius, Patrik, 2003. "Does Sick Absence Increase the Risk of Unemployment?," Working Paper Series 2003:15, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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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. Österholm, Pär, 2004. "Estimating the Relationship between Age Structure and GDP in the OECD Using Panel Cointegration Methods," Working Paper Series 2004:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Blomquist, Sören & Christiansen, Vidar, 2004. "Taxation and Heterogeneous Preferences," Working Paper Series 2004:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Oliver Röhn Rigmar Osterkamp, 2005. "Being on Sick Leave – Possible Explanations for Differences of Sick-leave Days AcrossCountries Privatization," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Papers No. 19, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  5. Darby, Julia & Mélitz, Jacques, 2007. "Labour Market Adjustment, Social Spending and the Automatic Stabilizers in the OECD," CEPR Discussion Papers 6230, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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