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Mandatory Sick Pay Provision: A Labor Market Experiment

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  • Stefan Bauernschuster

    (University of Jena)

  • Jörg Oechssler

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Heidelberg, Germany)

  • Peter Duersch

    (University of Heidelberg)

  • Radovan Vadovic

    (ITAM, Mexico City)

Abstract

The question whether a minimum rate of sick pay should be mandated is much debated. We study the effects of this kind of intervention in an experimental labor market that is rich enough to allow for moral hazard, adverse selection, and crowding out of good intentions to occur. We find that higher sick pay is reciprocated by workers through higher effort but only if sick pay is not mandated. We also study adverse selection effects when workers have different probabilities of getting sick and can reject the hypothesis that this leads to market breakdown. Overall, we find that mandating sick pay actually leads to a higher voluntary provision of sick pay by ?rms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2009-076.

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Date of creation: 25 Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2009-076

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Keywords: sick pay; sick leave; experiment; gift exchange;

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References

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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, George & Riedl, Arno, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-59, May.
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  3. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  4. Fehr, Ernst, et al, 1998. "When Social Norms Overpower Competition: Gift Exchange in Experimental Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 324-51, April.
  5. Duersch, Peter & Oechssler, Jörg & Vadovic, Radovan, 2012. "Sick pay provision in experimental labor markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 1-19.
  6. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2004. "Do Labour Market Conditions Affect Gift Exchange? Some Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 684-708, 07.
  7. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 268-298, May.
  8. Ernst Fehr & Alexander Klein & Klaus M Schmidt, 2007. "Fairness and Contract Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 121-154, 01.
  9. Jody Heymann & Hye Jin Rho & John Schmitt & Alison Earle, 2009. "Contagion Nation: A Comparison of Paid Sick Day Policies in 22 Countries," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2009-19, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  10. McCabe, Kevin A. & Rigdon, Mary L. & Smith, Vernon L., 2003. "Positive reciprocity and intentions in trust games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 267-275, October.
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  12. R. Lynn Hannan & John H. Kagel & Donald V. Moser, 2002. "Partial Gift Exchange in an Experimental Labor Market: Impact of Subject Population Differences, Productivity Differences, and Effort Requests on Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 923-951, October.
  13. Barmby, Tim A. & Ercolani, Marco G. & Treble, John G., 2000. "Sickness Absence: An International Comparison," IRISS Working Paper Series 2000-03, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  14. Gary Charness & Guillaume R. Frechette & John H. Kagel, 2004. "How Robust is Laboratory Gift Exchange?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 189-205, 06.
  15. Dirk Engelmann & Dorothea Kübler, 2008. "Do Legal Standards Affect Ethical Concerns of Consumers?," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-008, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  16. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 1997. "Reciprocity as a contract enforcement device: experimental evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5911, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  17. Sandra Maximiano & Randolph Sloof & Joep Sonnemans, 2004. "Gift Exchange in a Multi-worker Firm," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-100/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  18. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gary Charness & Peter J. Kuhn, 2010. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," NBER Working Papers 15913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Filippin, Antonio & Crosetto, Paolo, 2014. "A Reconsideration of Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 8184, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Peter Dürsch & Jörg Oechssler & Radovan Vadovic, 2008. "Sick Pay Provision in Experimental Labor Markets," Working Papers 0476, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2008.
  4. Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2009. "Long-Term Absenteeism and Moral Hazard: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 172, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Charness, Gary & Du, Ninghua & Yang, Chun-Lei & Yao, Lan, 2013. "Promises in contract design," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 194-208.

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