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The Determinants of Labor Absence: Economic Factors and Workgroup Norms across Countries


  • Robert Drago
  • Mark Wooden


The authors analyze causes of absence from work using data from a survey distributed in 1988 to workers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. The results indicate that workgroup cohesion (the degree to which employees work together closely and harmoniously) was associated with low levels of absence if job satisfaction was high, but with high levels of absence if job satisfaction was low. Some employee characteristics associated with lower rates of absence were male gender, short tenure, part-time status, and high wages; shiftwork, sick leave entitlements, and low unemployment rates were associated with higher rates of absence. The authors also find that the determinants of whether a worker was absent at least once in a given year are distinct from the determinants of the frequency and duration of absences among those workers who were absent at least once.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Drago & Mark Wooden, 1992. "The Determinants of Labor Absence: Economic Factors and Workgroup Norms across Countries," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(4), pages 764-778, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:45:y:1992:i:4:p:764-778

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