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The case for presenteeism — Evidence from Norway's sickness insurance program

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  • Markussen, Simen
  • Mykletun, Arnstein
  • Røed, Knut

Abstract

Can a work-first strategy control moral hazard problems in temporary disability insurance, and accelerate recovery? Based on empirical analysis of Norwegian data, we show that it can. Activation requirements not only bring down benefit claims, they also reduce the likelihood that long-term sickness absence leads to inactivity. Our findings show that absentees who are assigned graded (partial) absence certificates by their physician have shorter absences and higher subsequent employment rates than they would have had on regular sick leave. We conclude that the activation strategies that in recent years have permeated European and US welfare policy may fruitfully be carried over to sick leave insurance for temporary disabled workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Markussen, Simen & Mykletun, Arnstein & Røed, Knut, 2012. "The case for presenteeism — Evidence from Norway's sickness insurance program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 959-972.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:11:p:959-972 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2012.08.008
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    Cited by:

    1. Kai Rehwald & Michael Rosholm & Bénédicte Rouland, 2015. "Does Activating Sick-Listed Workers Work? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," Working Papers hal-01228454, HAL.
    2. Ahn, Thomas & Yelowitz, Aaron, 2016. "Paid Sick Leave and Absenteeism: The First Evidence from the U.S," MPRA Paper 69794, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Markussen, Simen & Røed, Knut & Schreiner, Ragnhild C., 2015. "Can Compulsory Dialogues Nudge Sick-Listed Workers Back to Work?," IZA Discussion Papers 9090, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. repec:eee:pubeco:v:156:y:2017:i:c:p:14-33 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Arni, Patrick & van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lalive, Rafael, 2015. "Treatment versus Regime Effects of Carrots and Sticks," IZA Discussion Papers 9457, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. repec:eee:jhecon:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:244-261 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "The pros and cons of sick pay schemes: Testing for contagious presenteeism and noncontagious absenteeism behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 14-33.
    8. Stefan Pichler & Nicolas Ziebarth, 2016. "The Pros and Cons of Sick Pay Schemes: Testing for Contagious Presenteeism and Shirking Behavior," NBER Chapters,in: Social Insurance Programs (Trans-Atlantic Public Economic Seminar - TAPES) National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2016. "Protecting working-age people with disabilities: experiences of four industrialized nations
      [Absicherung von Personen mit Erwerbsminderung: Erfahrungen aus vier Industrieländern]
      ," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 49(4), pages 367-386, December.
    10. Rainer Eppel & Thomas Leoni & Helmut Mahringer, 2016. "Austria 2025 – Health and Employability. Status Quo and Perspectives for Reform," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 89(11), pages 785-798, November.
    11. Markussen, Simen & Røed, Knut & Røgeberg, Ole, 2013. "The changing of the guards," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1230-1239.
    12. Bütikofer, A. & Skira, M., 2015. "Missing work is a pain: the effect of Cox-2 inhibitors on sickness absence and disability pension receipt," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/13, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    13. Markussen, Simen & Røed, Knut, 2017. "The market for paid sick leave," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 244-261.
    14. Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2015. "The Pros and Cons of Sick Pay Schemes: A Method to Test for Contagious Presenteeism and Shirking Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 8850, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Catherine Pollak, 2017. "The impact of a sick pay waiting period on sick leave patterns," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(1), pages 13-31, January.
    16. Hernaes, Øystein, 2017. "Activation against Absenteeism: Evidence from a Sickness Insurance Reform in Norway," IZA Discussion Papers 10991, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Gaute Torsvik & Kjell Vaage, 2014. "Gatekeeping versus Monitoring: Evidence from a Case with Extended Self-Reporting of Sickness Absence," CESifo Working Paper Series 5113, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2016. "Labor Market Effects of US Sick Pay Mandates," IZA Discussion Papers 9867, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Udo Schneider & Roland Linder & Frank Verheyen, 2016. "Long-term sick leave and the impact of a graded return-to-work program: evidence from Germany," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(5), pages 629-643, June.
    20. Godøy, Anna, 2016. "Profiting from presenteeism? Effects of an enforced activation policy on firm profits," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 122-128.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Absenteeism; Disability; Activation; Workfare;

    JEL classification:

    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy

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