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The determinants of sick leave durations of Dutch self-employed

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  • Spierdijk, Laura
  • van Lomwel, Gijsbert
  • Peppelman, Wilko

Abstract

This paper analyzes sickness absenteeism among self-employed in the Netherlands. Using a unique data set provided by a large Dutch private insurance company, we assess the determinants of sick leave durations. Our study suggests that several risk factors affect the sick leave durations of self-employed in a similar way as they influence the absence spells of employees according to the literature. For example, the recovery rate decreases with age and claimants suffering from psychological diseases have a lower recovery rate relative to claimants with other disorders. Furthermore, the sick leave durations of self-employed last longer when the economy is booming. In contrast to what the literature generally documents for employees, we do not find any evidence for moral hazard effects with respect to the benefit compensation level. Moreover, the absence spells of self-employed last longer in periods of high unemployment, whereas the opposite effect is usually documented for employees. We do not establish any significant gender differences in the sick leave durations of self-employed. Contract-specific factors such as insurance brand and deferment period are typical characteristics of insurance contracts for self-employed and play an important role in explaining their sick leave durations. Finally, the introduction of insurer-based case management significantly increased the recovery rate of self-employed with an ongoing spell up to 1 year. By contrast, case management did not succeed in improving the recovery rate of claimants trapped in long-term sickness absence.

Suggested Citation

  • Spierdijk, Laura & van Lomwel, Gijsbert & Peppelman, Wilko, 2009. "The determinants of sick leave durations of Dutch self-employed," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1185-1196, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:6:p:1185-1196
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    Cited by:

    1. Stijn Baert & Bas van der Klaauw & Gijsbert van Lomwel, 2018. "The effectiveness of medical and vocational interventions for reducing sick leave of self‐employed workers," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 139-152, February.
    2. T. Everhardt & Ph. Jong, 2011. "Return to Work After Long Term Sickness," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 361-380, September.
    3. Liesbeth E C Wijnvoord & Sandra Brouwer & Jan Buitenhuis & Jac J L van der Klink & Michiel R de Boer, 2016. "Indications of a Scarring Effect of Sickness Absence Periods in a Cohort of Higher Educated Self-Employed," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(5), pages 1-9, May.
    4. John E. Murray, 2011. "Asymmetric Information and Countermeasures in Early Twentieth‐Century American Short‐Term Disability Microinsurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 78(1), pages 117-138, March.
    5. Daniel S. J. Lechmann & Claus Schnabel, 2014. "Absence from Work of the Self-Employed: A Comparison with Paid Employees," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 368-390, August.

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