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Gender Differences in Quits and Absenteeism in Canada

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  • Zhang, Xuelin
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    Abstract

    Female workers are traditionally viewed as more likely to quit, to be absent and to take more days of absence than male workers, and this gender difference is widely used as an important explanation for the gender wage gap and other labour market differences between men and women. This study documents the gender differences in quits and absenteeism in Canada and attempts to assess whether the traditional view is still valid today. The study found that Canadian women's quitting behaviour changed dramatically over the past two decades. While women's permanent quit rate was greater than that of men in the 1980s, it converged with men's permanent quit rate since the early 1990s, and today there does not seem to be any significant difference in quitting behaviour between Canadian men and women. In terms of absenteeism, it was found that, other things being equal, Canadian men and women were somewhat different in paid sick leave, not in other paid and unpaid leaves, and their difference in paid sick leave was not large: women took only one day more than men. Taken together, these results imply that, in Canada, the current gender differences in quits and absenteeism are not significant factors to explain certain gender differences in labour market outcomes, such as the wage gap between men and women.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 2007296e.

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    Date of creation: 23 Feb 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2007296e

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    Web page: http://www.statcan.gc.ca
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    Related research

    Keywords: Labour; Labour mobility; turnover and work absences;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

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    1. Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1992. "Panel Estimates of Male and Female Job Turnover Behavior: Can Female Nonquitters Be Identified?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(2), pages 156-81, April.
    2. Sarah Bridges & Karen Mumford, . "Absenteeism in the UK: A Comparison Across Genders," Discussion Papers 00/12, Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Honore, Bo E, 1992. "Trimmed LAD and Least Squares Estimation of Truncated and Censored Regression Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 533-65, May.
    4. Barmby, Tim & Stephan, Gesine, 2000. "Worker Absenteeism: Why Firm Size May Matter," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 68(5), pages 568-77, September.
    5. Morissette, Rene, 2004. "Have Permanent Layoff Rates Increased in Canada?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004218e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    6. Georges Dionne & Benoit Dostie, 2005. "New Evidence on the Determinants of Absenteeism Using Linked Employer-Employee Data," Cahiers de recherche 0521, CIRPEE.
    7. Frederiksen, Anders, 2008. "Gender differences in job separation rates and employment stability: New evidence from employer-employee data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 915-937, October.
    8. 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.
    9. Francine D. Blau & Larry M. Kahn, 1981. "Race and sex differences in quits by young workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(4), pages 563-577, July.
    10. Dunn, L F & Youngblood, Stuart A, 1986. "Absenteeism as a Mechanism for Approaching an Optimal Labor Market Equilibrium: An Empirical Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 668-74, November.
    11. Honore, Bo E. & Powell, James L., 1994. "Pairwise difference estimators of censored and truncated regression models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1-2), pages 241-278.
    12. Meitzen, Mark E, 1986. "Differences in Male and Female Job-quitting Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 151-67, April.
    13. Arthur Sweetman & Peter Kuhn, 1998. "Unemployment Insurance and Quits in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(3), pages 549-572, August.
    14. Jacques Raynauld, 2005. "New Evidence on the Determinants of Absenteeism Using Linked Employer-Employee Data," Cahiers de recherche 05-06, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
    15. Paringer, Lynn, 1983. "Women and Absenteeism: Health or Economics?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 123-27, May.
    16. Viscusi, W Kip, 1980. "Sex Differences in Worker Quitting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 388-98, August.
    17. 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.
    18. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1990. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Job Ladders," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S106-23, January.
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