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Worker Absenteeism and Incentives: Evidence from Italy

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  • Scoppa, Vincenzo

Abstract

In Italy employees are fully insured against earning losses due to illness. Since worker’s health is not easily verifiable, absenteeism due to illness is considered an empirical proxy for employee shirking. The Bank of Italy Household Survey (SHIW) provides individual data on days of absence. Controlling for personal characteristics and potential determinants of health status and family responsibilities (age, gender, education, marital status, children at home) we show that the nature of employment contracts affects workers’ incentives to provide effort: sickness absences, at least partially, hide opportunistic behaviours. The type of occupation and the labour contracts affects workers’ behaviour in that more protected and difficult to monitor jobs show significantly higher levels of absenteeism: employees in public sector or in large firms, with permanent contracts or with longer tenure, individuals living in regions with low unemployment rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16858.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16858

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Keywords: Absenteeism; Shirking; Incentives; Labour Contracts; Insurance Contracts;

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References

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  4. Barmby, Tim & Orme, Chris D & Treble, John, 1990. "Worker Absenteeism: An Analysis Using Microdata," CEPR Discussion Papers 434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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. Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Maggi, 1999. "Work Environment and Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials in a Large Italian Firm," NBER Working Papers 7415, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Andrea Ichino & Regina T. Riphahn, 2005. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: Absenteeism During and After Probation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 120-143, 03.
  8. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
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  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Barmby, Tim & Orme, Chris & Treble, John, 1995. "Worker absence histories: a panel data study," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 53-65, March.
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  14. Regina T. Riphahn & Anja Thalmaier, 2001. "Behavioral Effects of Probation Periods: An Analysis of Worker Absenteeism," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 221(2), pages 179-201.
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  17. Barmby, Tim & Stephan, Gesine, 2000. "Worker Absenteeism: Why Firm Size May Matter," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 68(5), pages 568-77, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Vincenzo Scoppa & Daniela Vuri, 2013. "Absenteeism, Unemployment and Employment Protection Legislation: Evidence from Italy," CESifo Working Paper Series 4064, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. De Luca, Giuliana & Ponzo, Michela, 2009. "Primary care utilisation and workers’ opportunity costs. Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 24201, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2009. "Performance Pay as an Incentive for Lower Absence Rates in Britain," MPRA Paper 18238, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Cristini, Annalisa & Origo, Federica & Pinoli, Sara, 2012. "The Healthy Fright of Losing a Good One for a Bad One," IZA Discussion Papers 6348, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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