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Timing matters: worker absenteeism in a weekly backward rotating shift model

Author

Listed:
  • Bernd Frick

    (Paderborn University)

  • Robert Simmons

    (Lancaster University Management School)

  • Friedrich Stein

    (Mobile Life Campus, Volkswagen AG)

Abstract

Objectives We analyze the impact of the positioning of shifts (morning, afternoon, night) on worker absenteeism in a large German automobile plant. Methods Using a completely balanced panel of 153 organizational units over the 2-year-period 2009 to 2010 (i.e. 104 consecutive weeks with 15,912 unit-week-observations) we estimate a series of GLM and Fixed Effects models. Results Our main finding is that during afternoon shifts absence rates are significantly higher than during either morning or night shifts and that absence rates are particularly high during the afternoon shift immediately following the 3 weeks of consecutive night shifts. We attribute our first finding to the “social opportunity costs” of working and the second one to a “tax evasion effect”. Conclusions When designing new shift models, firms should try to anticipate their workers’ reaction to avoid unintended incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernd Frick & Robert Simmons & Friedrich Stein, 2020. "Timing matters: worker absenteeism in a weekly backward rotating shift model," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 21(9), pages 1399-1410, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:21:y:2020:i:9:d:10.1007_s10198-020-01232-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s10198-020-01232-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Böckerman, Petri & Bryson, Alex & Ilmakunnas, Pekka, 2012. "Does high involvement management improve worker wellbeing?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 660-680.
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    3. Nicholas Bloom & Benn Eifert & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2013. "Does Management Matter? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 1-51.
    4. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2011. "Field Experiments with Firms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 63-82, Summer.
    5. Papke, Leslie E. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2008. "Panel data methods for fractional response variables with an application to test pass rates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 121-133, July.
    6. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 9th November 2020
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2020-11-09 12:00:00

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Shiftwork; Absenteeism; Pay premium; Tax incentives;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment

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