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Worker Absenteeism in Search Equilibrium

  • Per Engström
  • Bertil Holmlund

The paper presents a tractable general equilibrium model of search unemployment that incorporates absence from work as a distinct labor force state. Absenteeism is driven by random shocks to the value of leisure that are private information to the workers. Firms offer wages, and possibly sick pay, so as to maximize expected profits, recognizing that the compensation package affects the queue of job applicants and possibly the absence rate as well. Shocks to the value of leisure among nonemployed individuals interact with their search decisions and trigger movements into and out of the labor force. The analysis provides a number of results concerning the impact of social insurance benefits and other determinants of workers’ and firms’ behavior. For example, higher nonemployment benefits are shown to increase absenteeism among employed workers. The normative anlysis identifies externalities associated with firm-provided sick pay and examines the welfare implications of alternative policies. Conditions are given under which welfare equivalence holds between publicly provided and firm-provided sick pay. Benefit differentiation across states of non-work are found to be associated with non-trivial welfare gains.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2005/wp-cesifo-2005-11/cesifo1_wp1607.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1607.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1607
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  1. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
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  4. James J. Heckman & Christopher J. Flinn, 1982. "New Methods for Analyzing Structural Models of Labor Force Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 0856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bertil Holmlund, 2004. "Sickness Absence and Search Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1227, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Ichino, Andrea & Riphahn, Regina T., 2001. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: A Comparison of Absenteeism During and After Probation," IZA Discussion Papers 385, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Pietro Garibaldi & Etienne Wasmer, 2005. "Equilibrium Search Unemployment, Endogenous Participation and Labor Market Flows," Post-Print hal-01020784, HAL.
  8. Bertil Holmlund, . "Labor Taxation in Search Equilibrium with Home Production," EPRU Working Paper Series 00-05, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  9. Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002. "Unemployment, labour force composition and sickness absence. A panel data study," Working paper Series 0205, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  10. Arai, Mahmood & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2001. "Incentives and Selection in Cyclical Absenteeism," Working Paper Series 167, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Stephen Nickell & D. Nicolitsas, 1994. "Wages," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51644, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Henrekson, Magnus & Persson, Mats, 2001. "The Effects on Sick Leave of Changes in the Sickness Insurance System," Seminar Papers 697, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  13. Toikka, Richard S, 1976. "A Markovian Model of Labor Market Decisions by Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 821-34, December.
  14. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 1996. "Do economic incentives affect work absence? Empirical evidence using Swedish micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 195-218, February.
  15. Krueger, Alan B. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2002. "Labor supply effects of social insurance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 33, pages 2327-2392 Elsevier.
  16. Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1970. "Absenteeism and the Overtime Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 352-57, June.
  17. Monojit Chatterji & Colin J. Tilley, 2002. "Sickness, absenteeism, presenteeism, and sick pay," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 669-687, October.
  18. Barmby, Tim & Orme, Chris D & Treble, John, 1990. "Worker Absenteeism: An Analysis Using Microdata," CEPR Discussion Papers 434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Hesselius, Patrik, 2003. "Does Sick Absence Increase the Risk of Unemployment?," Working Paper Series 2003:15, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  20. Coles, Melvyn G. & Treble, John G., 1996. "Calculating the price of worker reliability," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 169-188, September.
  21. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877.
  22. Barmby, Tim A. & Ercolani, Marco G. & Treble, John G., 2000. "Sickness Absence: An International Comparison," IRISS Working Paper Series 2000-03, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  23. Barmby, Tim & Sessions, John G & Treble, John G, 1994. " Absenteeism, Efficiency Wages and Shirking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 561-66.
  24. James Costain, 1997. "Unemployment insurance with endogenous search intensity and precautionary saving," Economics Working Papers 243, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  25. Brown, Sarah & Sessions, John G, 1996. " The Economics of Absence: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 23-53, March.
  26. Allen, Steven G, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Work Attendance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 77-87, February.
  27. Kenneth Burdett & Nicholas M. Kiefer & Dale T. Mortensen & George R. Neumann, 1984. "Earnings, Unemployment, and the Allocation of Time Over Time," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(4), pages 559-578.
  28. 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, 03.
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