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

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

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2012)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
Pages: 959-972

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:11:p:959-972
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  2. Ichino, Andrea & Moretti, Enrico, 2006. "Biological Gender Differences, Absenteeism and the Earning Gap," CEPR Discussion Papers 5785, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Grytten, Jostein & Sorensen, Rune, 2003. "Practice variation and physician-specific effects," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 403-418, May.
  6. Henrekson, Magnus & Persson, Mats, 2001. "The Effects on Sick Leave of Changes in the Sickness Insurance System," Seminar Papers 697, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  7. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 2005. "Moral hazard and sickness insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1879-1890, September.
  8. Høgelund, Jan & Holm, Anders & McIntosh, James, 2010. "Does graded return-to-work improve sick-listed workers' chance of returning to regular working hours?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 158-169, January.
  9. Lusine Lusinyan & Leo Bonato, 2007. "Work Absence in Europe," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(3), pages 475-538, July.
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  12. John Bound & Richard Burkhauser & Austin Nichols, 2001. "Tracking the Household Income of SSDI and SSI Applicants," Working Papers wp009, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  13. Markussen, Simen & Røed, Knut & Røgeberg, Ole J. & Gaure, Simen, 2009. "The Anatomy of Absenteeism," IZA Discussion Papers 4240, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  15. Bratsberg, Bernt & Fevang, Elisabeth & Røed, Knut, 2010. "Disability in the Welfare State: An Unemployment Problem in Disguise?," IZA Discussion Papers 4897, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Markussen, Simen & Mykletun, Arnstein & Røed, Knut, 2010. "The Case for Presenteeism," IZA Discussion Papers 5343, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Bound, John, 1989. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 482-503, June.
  18. Markussen, Simen, 2009. "Closing the Gates? Evidence from a Natural Experiment on Physicians' Sickness Certification," Memorandum 19/2009, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  19. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  20. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "The Nonparametric Identification of Treatment Effects in Duration Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1491-1517, 09.
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