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Gender Differences in Days Lost from Work Due to Illness


  • Jessica Primoff Vistnes


The author uses data from the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey to investigate the extent and determinants of gender differences in days lost from work due to illness. She finds that for both men and women, health status measures, such as self-reported health status and medical events, more consistently explained absenteeism than did economic factors such as wages and the presence of sick leave. The presence of young children increased women's, but not men's, probability of missing work, as well as women's number of absences for those who missed work in 1987. Among men who were absent from work in 1987, however, the presence of children in day care increased the number of days lost from work. In that regard, those men, most of whom were likely to be either single parents or married with a working wife, behaved more like mothers with young children than like other men.

Suggested Citation

  • Jessica Primoff Vistnes, 1997. "Gender Differences in Days Lost from Work Due to Illness," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(2), pages 304-323, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:50:y:1997:i:2:p:304-323

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