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Employee and job attributes as predictors of absenteeism in a national sample of workers: The importance of health and dangerous working conditions

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  • Leigh, J. Paul

Abstract

This study reports on research which looks for employee and job characteristics which correlate with absenteeism. A large cross-sectional national probability sample of workers employed for at least 20 hr per week is analyzed (n = 1308). The dependent variable is the number of self-reported absences during the past 14 days. Thirty-seven independent variables are considered. Ordinary Least Squares (multiple regressions), two-limit Tobits, and two-part models are used to assess the statistical and practical significance of possible covariates. Statistically significant predictors included health variables such as being overweight, complaining of insomnia, and hazardous working conditions; job characteristics such as inflexible house; and personal variables such as being a mother with small children. Variables reflecting dangerous working conditions appear to be the strongest correlates of absenteeism. Notable variables which do not predict absenteeism include age, race, wages, and job satisfaction. Future research should direct attention toward workers' health and working conditions as covariates of absenteeism, since they are strongly significant in this study and have been neglected by most absenteeism investigators.

Suggested Citation

  • Leigh, J. Paul, 1991. "Employee and job attributes as predictors of absenteeism in a national sample of workers: The importance of health and dangerous working conditions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 127-137, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:33:y:1991:i:2:p:127-137
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    Cited by:

    1. Riphahn Regina T. & Thalmaier Anja, 2001. "Behavioral Effects of Probation Periods: An Analysis of Worker Absenteeism / Anreizeffekte der Probezeit: Eine Untersuchung von Fehlzeiten bei Arbeitnehmern," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 221(2), pages 179-201, April.
    2. Fahr, René & Frick, Bernd, 2007. "On the Inverse Relationship between Unemployment and Absenteeism: Evidence from Natural Experiments and Worker Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 3171, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Zhang, Xuelin, 2007. "Differences entre les sexes relativement aux departs volontaires et a l'absenteisme au Canada," Direction des etudes analytiques : documents de recherche 2007296f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
    4. Dawson Chris & Veliziotis Michail & Hopkins Benjamin, 2014. "Assimilation of the migrant work ethic," Working Papers 20141407, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    5. Cédric Afsa & Pauline Givord, 2009. "Le rôle des conditions de travail dans les absences pour maladie : le cas des horaires irréguliers," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 187(1), pages 83-103.
    6. De Paola, Maria, 2010. "Absenteeism and peer interaction effects: Evidence from an Italian Public Institute," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 420-428, June.
    7. Drakopoulos, Stavros A. & Grimani, Aikaterini, 2011. "The relationship between absence from work and job satisfaction: Greece and UK comparisons," MPRA Paper 30990, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. repec:bla:scotjp:v:64:y:2017:i:2:p:115-142 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Gilleskie, Donna, 2010. "Work absences and doctor visits during an illness episode: The differential role of preferences, production, and policies among men and women," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 148-163, May.
    10. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2015. "Trade union membership and sickness absence: Evidence from a sick pay reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 13-25.
    11. Laszlo Goerke, 2016. "Sick Pay Reforms and Health Status in a Unionised Labour Market," IAAEG Discussion Papers until 2011 201604, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    12. Leigh, J. Paul, 1995. "Smoking, self-selection and absenteeism," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 365-386.
    13. Sjöberg, Ola, 2017. "Positive welfare state dynamics? Sickness benefits and sickness absence in Europe 1997–2011," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 158-168.
    14. Daniel S. J. Lechmann & Claus Schnabel, 2014. "Absence from Work of the Self-Employed: A Comparison with Paid Employees," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 368-390, August.
    15. Mohamed Ali Ben Halima & Thierry Debrand & Camille Regaert, 2012. "Sick Leaves: Understanding Disparities Between French Departments," Working Papers DT50, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Oct 2012.
    16. Restrepo, Carlos & Salgado, Elvira, 2013. "Types of contracts and worker absenteeism in Colombia," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 401-408.
    17. Mohamed Ali Ben Halima & Thierry Debrand, 2011. "Durée d’arrêt de travail, salaire et Assurance maladie : application microéconométrique à partir de la base Hygie," Working Papers DT42, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Sep 2011.
    18. Andrén, Daniela, 2001. "Short-Term Absenteeism Due To Sickness: The Swedish Experience, 1986 - 1991," Working Papers in Economics 46, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    19. Lambert, Eric G. & Edwards, Calvin & Camp, Scott D. & Saylor, William G., 2005. "Here today, gone tomorrow, back again the next day: Antecedents of correctional absenteeism," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 165-175.
    20. Laszlo Goerke, 2017. "Sick pay reforms and health status in a unionised labour market," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 64(2), pages 115-142, May.
    21. Leontaridi, Rannia & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E., 2002. "Work-Related Stress, Quitting Intentions and Absenteeism," IZA Discussion Papers 493, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. López-Mourelo, Elva & Alba Ramírez, Alfonso, 2017. "Sickness absence from work in Spain: are there gender differences?," UC3M Working papers. Economics 25937, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.

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