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

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

Abstract

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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  • van Ommeren, Jos N. & Gutiérrez-i-Puigarnau, Eva, 2011. "Are workers with a long commute less productive? An empirical analysis of absenteeism," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 1-8, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:41:y:2011:i:1:p:1-8
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Absenteeism Commuting Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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