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Are workers with a long commute less productive? An empirical analysis of absenteeism

  • van Ommeren, Jos N.
  • Gutiérrez-i-Puigarnau, Eva

We hypothesise, and test for, a negative effect of the length of the worker's commute on worker's productivity, by examining whether the commute has a positive effect on worker's absenteeism. We identify this effect using employer-induced changes in commuting distance. Our estimates for Germany indicate that commuting distance induces absenteeism with an elasticity of about 0.07 to 0.09. On average, absenteeism would be about 15 to 20% less if all workers would have a negligible commute. These results are consistent with extended urban efficiency wage models.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-8

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:41:y:2011:i:1:p:1-8
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/regec

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  1. Barmby, Tim & Orme, Chris D & Treble, John, 1990. "Worker Absenteeism: An Analysis Using Microdata," CEPR Discussion Papers 434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  15. Gutiérrez-i-Puigarnau, Eva & van Ommeren, Jos N., 2010. "Labour supply and commuting," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 82-89, July.
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  17. Angrist, Joshua D & Graddy, Kathryn & Imbens, Guido W, 2000. "The Interpretation of Instrumental Variables Estimators in Simultaneous Equations Models with an Application to the Demand for Fish," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 499-527, July.
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