Work absences and doctor visits during an illness episode: The differential role of preferences, production, and policies among men and women
This paper analyzes the absenteeism and medical care consumption behavior of employed men and women during an episode of acute illness. An individual's daily optimization decisions are modeled in a dynamic framework to evaluate the role of (1) preferences for absences and treatment, (2) effectiveness of these inputs on recovery, and (3) economic incentives in determining the number and timing of absences and doctor visits and the duration of illness. In general, men appear to be more responsive than women to changes in sick leave and health insurance mainly due to differences in preferences.
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