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Gender Differences in Preferences for Health-Related Absences from Work

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  • Avdic, Daniel

    ()
    (CINCH)

  • Johansson, Per

    ()
    (IFAU)

Abstract

Women are on average more absent from work for health reasons than men. At the same time, they live longer. This conflicting pattern suggests that part of the gender difference in health-related absenteeism arises from differences between the genders unrelated to actual health. An overlooked explanation could be that men and women's preferences for absenteeism differ, for example because of gender differences in risk preferences. These differences may originate from the utility-maximizing of households in which women's traditional dual roles influence household decisions to invest primarily in women's health. Using detailed administrative data on sick leave, hospital visits and objective health measures we first investigate the existence of gender-specific preferences for absenteeism and subsequently test for the household investment hypothesis. We find evidence for the existence of gender differences in preferences for absence from work, and that a non-trivial part of these preference differences can be attributed to household investments in women's health.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7480.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7480

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Keywords: sickness absence; gender norms; health investments;

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References

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  1. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  2. Sindelar, Jody L, 1982. "Differential Use of Medical Care by Sex," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 1003-19, October.
  3. Uitenbroek, Daan G. & Kerekovska, Albena & Festchieva, Nevijana, 1996. "Health lifestyle behaviour and socio-demographic characteristics. A study of Varna, Glasgow and Edinburgh," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 367-377, August.
  4. Broström, Göran & Palme, Mårten & Johansson, Per, 2002. "Economic incentives and gender differences in work absence behavior," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2002:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  5. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Sex and Risk: Experimental Evidence," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series, Monash University, Department of Economics archive-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  6. Håkan Selin, 2009. "The Rise in Female Employment and the Role of Tax Incentives - An Empirical Analysis of the Swedish Individual Tax Reform of 1971," CESifo Working Paper Series 2629, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Per Engstr�m & Per Johansson, 2012. "The medical doctors as gatekeepers in the sickness insurance?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(28), pages 3615-3625, October.
  8. Stronegger, Willibald-Julius & Freidl, Wolfgang & Rásky, Éva, 1997. "Health behaviour and risk behaviour: Socioeconomic differences in an Austrian rural county," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 423-426, February.
  9. Mastekaasa, Arne, 2000. "Parenthood, gender and sickness absence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 50(12), pages 1827-1842, June.
  10. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  11. Evans, Olga & Steptoe, Andrew, 2002. "The contribution of gender-role orientation, work factors and home stressors to psychological well-being and sickness absence in male- and female-dominated occupational groups," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 481-492, February.
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  1. #HEJC papers for August 2013
    by academichealtheconomists in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-07-31 23:00:48

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