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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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Absenteeism; Disability; Activation; Workfare;
    All these keywords.

    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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