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The Effect of the 2009 Influenza Pandemic on Absence from Work

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  • Fabian Duarte
  • Srikanth Kadiyala
  • Samuel H. Masters
  • David Powell

Abstract

In July 2009, the World Health Organization declared the first flu pandemic in nearly 40 years. Although the health effects of the pandemic have been studied, there is little research examining the labor productivity consequences. Using unique sick leave data from the Chilean private health insurance system, we estimate the effect of the pandemic on missed days of work. We estimate that the pandemic increased mean flu days missed by 0.042 days per person‐month during the 2009 peak winter months (June and July), representing an 800% increase in missed days relative to the sample mean. Calculations using the estimated effect imply a minimum 0.2% reduction in Chile's labor supply. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabian Duarte & Srikanth Kadiyala & Samuel H. Masters & David Powell, 2017. "The Effect of the 2009 Influenza Pandemic on Absence from Work," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(12), pages 1682-1695, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:26:y:2017:i:12:p:1682-1695
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.3485
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Currie, Janet & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1999. "Health, health insurance and the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 3309-3416, Elsevier.
    2. Schwandt, Hannes, 2017. "The Lasting Legacy of Seasonal Influenza: In-utero Exposure and Labor Market Outcomes," DaCHE discussion papers 2017:5, University of Southern Denmark, Dache - Danish Centre for Health Economics.
    3. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3309-3416 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Lars Jonung & Werner Roeger, 2006. "The macroeconomic effects of a pandemic in Europe - A model-based assessment," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 251, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    5. Bradley, Cathy J. & Bednarek, Heather L. & Neumark, David, 2002. "Breast cancer survival, work, and earnings," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 757-779, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Corey White, 2018. "Measuring the Social and Externality Benefits of Influenza Vaccination," Working Papers 1803, California Polytechnic State University, Department of Economics.
    2. David Slusky & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 2018. "Sunlight and Protection Against Influenza," NBER Working Papers 24340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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