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New Evidence on the Determinants of Absenteeism Using Linked Employer-Employee Data

  • Georges Dionne
  • Benoit Dostie

This paper provides new evidence on the determinants of absenteeism. The authors extend the typical labor-leisure model used to analyze the decision to skip work to include firm-level policy variables relevant to the absenteeism decision and uncertainty about the cost of absenteeism. Estimates based on data from Statistics Canada’s Workplace Employee Survey (1999–2002), with controls for observed and unobserved demographic, job, and firm characteristics (including workplace practices), indicate that work arrangements were important determinants of absence. For example, the authors find strong evidence that standard weekday work hours, work-at-home options, and reduced workweeks were associated with reduced absence, whereas shift work and compressed work weeks were associated with increased absence.

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Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 61 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 108-120

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:61:y:2007:i:1:p:108-120
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  1. Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1970. "Absenteeism and the Overtime Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 352-57, June.
  2. Magnus Henrekson & Mats Persson, 2004. "The Effects on Sick Leave of Changes in the Sickness Insurance System," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 87-114, January.
  3. Barmby, T A & Orme, C D & Treble, John G, 1991. "Worker Absenteeism: An Analysis Using Microdata," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 214-29, March.
  4. Allen, Steven G, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Work Attendance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 77-87, February.
  5. Robert Drago & Mark Wooden, 1992. "The determinants of labor absence: Economic factors and workgroup norms across countries," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(4), pages 764-778, July.
  6. Göran Kauermann & Renate Ortlieb, 2004. "Temporal pattern in number of staff on sick leave: the effect of downsizing," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 53(2), pages 355-367.
  7. Jerry A. Hausman & Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," NBER Technical Working Papers 0017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Per Johansson & Mårten Palme, 2002. "Assessing the Effect of Public Policy on Worker Absenteeism," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 381-409.
  9. Gourieroux Christian & Monfort Alain & Trognon A, 1982. "Pseudo maximum lilelihood methods : applications to poisson models," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8203, CEPREMAP.
  10. Donna B. Gilleskie, 1998. "A Dynamic Stochastic Model of Medical Care Use and Work Absence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 1-46, January.
  11. Blomquist, N. Soren, 1983. "The effect of income taxation on the labor supply of married men in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 169-197, November.
  12. Nicholas Wilson & Michael J. Peel, 1991. "The impact on absenteeism and quits of profit-sharing and other forms of employee participation," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(3), pages 454-468, April.
  13. DIONNE, George & EECKHOUDT, Louis, . "Proportional risk aversion, taxation and labor supply under uncertainty," CORE Discussion Papers RP -784, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  14. Dunn, L F & Youngblood, Stuart A, 1986. "Absenteeism as a Mechanism for Approaching an Optimal Labor Market Equilibrium: An Empirical Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 668-74, November.
  15. Barmby, Tim, 2002. "Worker absenteeism: a discrete hazard model with bivariate heterogeneity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-476, September.
  16. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710 Elsevier.
  17. Delgado, M.A. & Kniesner, T.J., 1994. "Count Data Models with Viriance of Unknown Form - An Application to a Hedonic Model of Worker Absenteeism," Papers 94-011, Indiana - Center for Econometric Model Research.
  18. Steven G. Allen, 1983. "How Much Does Absenteeism Cost?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(3), pages 379-393.
  19. Jessica P. Vistnes, 1997. "Gender differences in days lost from work due to illness," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(2), pages 304-323, January.
  20. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 1996. "Do economic incentives affect work absence? Empirical evidence using Swedish micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 195-218, February.
  21. Kenyon, Peter & Dawkins, Peter, 1989. "A Time Series Analysis of Labour Absence in Australia," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 232-39, May.
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