Differences in Sick Leave Between Employed and Unemployed Workers. What Do They Tell Us About the Health Dimension of Unemployment?
AbstractUnemployed workers suffer from poor health conditions, a fact which is documented by a large number of studies covering objective health measures, satisfaction with health status and mortality. This paper contributes to the literature with an empirical analysis of sick leave micro-data from Austrian social insurance agencies. The data represent an interesting source of information because in Austria both employed and unemployed workers are entitled to sickness benefits and both groups are subject to almost identical sick pay regulations. Aggregate statistics show that the unemployed spend close to 9 percent of their time on sick leave, against an average of 3.4 percent for the employed. Further evidence indicates that they report much longer illness spells and a higher number of hospitalisations. Both selection and causation effects can help to understand this large gap in health outcomes. Workers who become unemployed had markedly higher absence rates in employment than fellow workers who stay in employment. This difference, which can be interpreted as an approximation for the selection effect, accounts for roughly half of the observed gap in sick leave rates between the employed and the unemployed. On the other hand there exists a positive albeit non-linear relationship between sick leave and unemployment duration, corroborating the view that unemployment impacts health negatively. In accordance with previous studies I find that the unemployed suffer very often from mental disorders. Although women have a higher incidence of mental disorders than men in both employment and unemployment, it is unemployed men who experience the sharpest increase in mental problems in the wake of unemployment.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by WIFO in its series WIFO Working Papers with number 372.
Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jun 2010
Date of revision:
unemployment; sick leave; sickness; health; social insurance data;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-08-06 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2010-08-06 (Health Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2010-08-06 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Salm, Martin, 2009.
"Does Job Loss Cause Ill Health?,"
IZA Discussion Papers
4147, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Petri Böckerman & Pekka Ilmakunnas, 2009.
"Unemployment and self-assessed health: evidence from panel data,"
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 161-179.
- Böckerman, Petri & Ilmakunnas, Pekka, 2007. "Unemployment and self-assessed health: Evidence from panel data," MPRA Paper 1798, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Del Bono, Emilia & Weber, Andrea, 2006.
"Do wages compensate for anticipated working time restrictions? Evidence from seasonal employment in Austria,"
ISER Working Paper Series
2006-37, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
- Emilia Del Bono & Andrea Weber, 2008. "Do Wages Compensate for Anticipated Working Time Restrictions? Evidence from Seasonal Employment in Austria," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 181-221.
- Del Bono, Emilia & Weber, Andrea, 2006. "Do Wages Compensate for Anticipated Working Time Restrictions? Evidence from Seasonal Employment in Austria," IZA Discussion Papers 2242, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002.
"Unemployment, Labour Force Composition and Sickness Absence: A Panel Data Study,"
IZA Discussion Papers
466, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Jan Erik Askildsen & Espen Bratberg & Øivind Anti Nilsen, 2005. "Unemployment, labor force composition and sickness absence: a panel data study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(11), pages 1087-1101.
- Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002. "Unemployment, labour force composition and sickness absence. A panel data study," Working paper Series 0205, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
- Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002. "Unemployment, labour force composition and sickness absence. A panel data study," Working Papers in Economics 05/02, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
- Andrew E. Clark, 2006.
"A Note on Unhappiness and Unemployment Duration,"
Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik),
Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 52(4), pages 291-308.
- 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.
- Audas, Rick & Goddard, John, 2001. "Absenteeism, seasonality, and the business cycle," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 405-419.
- Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2002.
"Benefit Entitlement and Unemployment Duration: The Role of Policy Endogeneity,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3363, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Lalive, Rafael & Zweimuller, Josef, 2004. "Benefit entitlement and unemployment duration: The role of policy endogeneity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2587-2616, December.
- Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2002. "Benefit Entitlement and Unemployment Duration: The Role of Policy Endogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 492, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, . "Benefit Entitlement and Unemployment Duration - The Role of Policy Endogeneity," IEW - Working Papers 112, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Arai, Mahmood & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2001.
"Incentives and Selection in Cyclical Absenteeism,"
Working Paper Series
167, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
- Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus, 2003. "A note on the effect of unemployment on mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 505-518, May.
- Göran Kauermann & Renate Ortlieb, 2004. "Temporal pattern in number of staff on sick leave: the effect of downsizing," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 53(2), pages 355-367.
- Daniel Sullivan & Till von Wachter, 2009. "Job Displacement and Mortality: An Analysis Using Administrative Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1265-1306, August.
- David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007.
"Cash-On-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1511-1560, November.
- David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2006. "Cash-on-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 12639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ilse Schulz).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.