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Benefit Morale and Cross-Country Diversity in Sick Pay Entitlements

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  • Daniel Arnold

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    (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the EU, University of Trier)

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    Abstract

    This paper analyzes the impact of a country’s level of benefit morale on generosity of sick pay entitlements by means of a political economy model and an empirical investigation. Higher benefit morale reduces the incidence of absence. On the one hand, this makes insurance cheaper with the usual demand side reaction. On the other hand, being absent less often, the voter prefers less insurance. The former effect dominates at lower, the latter at higher levels of benefit morale. We present empirical evidence for both effects in a sample of 31 countries between 1981 and 2010.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU) in its series IAAEU Discussion Papers with number 201211.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:iaa:dpaper:201211

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    Keywords: sick pay insurance; political economy; work absence; social norms;

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    1. Martin Halla & Friedrich G. Schneider, 2005. "Taxes and Benefits: Two Distinct Options to Cheat on the State?," Economics working papers 2005-05, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    2. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörg Weibull, 2003. "Social Norms and Welfare State Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 931, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre & Sangnier, Marc, 2014. "Trust and the Welfare State: The Twin Peaks Curve," IZA Discussion Papers 8277, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Muravyev, Alexander, 2010. "Evolution of Employment Protection Legislation in the USSR, CIS and Baltic States, 1985-2009," IZA Discussion Papers 5365, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Ziebarth N & Karlsson M, 2009. "A Natural Experiment on Sick Pay Cuts, Sickness Absence, and Labor Costs," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 09/34, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. Martin Halla & Mario Lackner & Friedrich Schneider, 2009. "An Empirical Analysis of the Dynamics of the Welfare State: the Case of Benefit Morale," CESifo Working Paper Series 2641, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
    8. Patrick A. Puhani & Katja Sonderhof, 2009. "The Effects of a Sick Pay Reform on Absence and on Health-Related Outcomes," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 248, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    9. James Feyrer, 2011. "The US productivity slowdown, the baby boom, and management quality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 267-284, January.
    10. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," NBER Working Papers 5537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Wright, Randall, 1986. "The redistributive roles of unemployment insurance and the dynamics of voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 377-399, December.
    12. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre & Sangnier, Marc, 2011. "Efficient and Inefficient Welfare States," CEPR Discussion Papers 8229, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 2005. "Moral hazard and sickness insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1879-1890, September.
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