IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Work Effort During and After Employment Probation: Evidence from German Personnel Data


  • Pfeifer Christian

    () (Institute of Economics, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Scharnhorststr. 1, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany, and IZA Bonn)


The degree of employment protection affects employment flows as well as work effort of employees. Whereas the former aspect has been analysed in many studies, the impact of employment protection on work effort has been analysed in few recent studies. Theory predicts that employment protection reduces work effort because employee shirking cannot be that easily punished by the firm, which decreases the separation probability and increases the expected utility for a shirker in efficiency wage models. Personnel records of a German company are used to assess the impact of lower employment protection during probation on worker absenteeism as a proxy for work effort. The main finding is that new white-collar workers are on average more than 50 percent less likely to be absent and have on average more than 60 percent fewer absent working days during the three months probation period compared to the nine months period afterwards. These relative effects differ only slightly between the genders and between different age and educational groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Pfeifer Christian, 2010. "Work Effort During and After Employment Probation: Evidence from German Personnel Data," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(1), pages 77-91, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:230:y:2010:i:1:p:77-91

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Riphahn, Regina T. & Thalmaier, Anja, 1999. "Behavioral Effects of Probation Periods: An Analysis of Worker Absenteeism," IZA Discussion Papers 67, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Riphahn, Regina T., 2004. "Employment protection and effort among German employees," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 353-357, December.
    3. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
    4. Engellandt, Axel & Riphahn, Regina T., 2005. "Temporary contracts and employee effort," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 281-299, June.
    5. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
    6. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 2-16, January.
    7. Andrea Ichino & Regina T. Riphahn, 2005. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: Absenteeism During and After Probation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 120-143, March.
    8. Rigmar Osterkamp & Oliver Röhn, 2007. "Being on Sick Leave: Possible Explanations for Differences of Sick-leave Days Across Countries," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 53(1), pages 97-114, March.
    9. Barmby, Tim & Sessions, John G & Treble, John G, 1994. " Absenteeism, Efficiency Wages and Shirking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 561-566.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Christian Pfeifer, 2014. "Base Salaries, Bonus Payments, and Work Absence among Managers in a German Company," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 61(5), pages 523-536, November.
    2. Verardi Vincenzo & Wagner Joachim, 2011. "Robust Estimation of Linear Fixed Effects Panel Data Models with an Application to the Exporter Productivity Premium," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(4), pages 546-557, August.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:230:y:2010:i:1:p:77-91. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.