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Absenteeism, Unemployment And Employment Protection Legislation: Evidence From Italy

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  • Vincenzo Scoppa

    ()

  • Daniela Vuri

    () (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)

Abstract

Efficiency wages theories argue that the threat of firing, coupled with a high unemployment rate, is a mechanism that discourages employee shirking in asymmetric information contexts. Our empirical analysis aims to verify the role of unemployment as a worker discipline device, considering the different degree of job security offred by the Italian Employment Protection Legislation to workers employed in small and large firms. We use a panel of administrative data (WHIP) and consider sickness absences as an empirical proxy for employee shirking. Controlling for a number of individual and firm characteristics, we investigate the relationship between worker's absences and local unemployment rate (at the provincial level). We find a strong negative impact of unemployment on absenteeism rate, which is considerable larger in small firms due to a significantly lower protection from dismissals in these firms. We also find that workers who are absent more frequently face higher risks of dismissal. As an indirect test of the role of unemployment as worker's discipline device we show that public sector employees, almost impossible to fire, do not react to the local unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincenzo Scoppa & Daniela Vuri, 2012. "Absenteeism, Unemployment And Employment Protection Legislation: Evidence From Italy," Working Papers 201208, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
  • Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:201208
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Pichler & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2015. "The Pros and Cons of Sick Pay Schemes: Testing for Contagious Presenteeism and Shirking Behavior," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1509, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Heijnen, Suzanne & Hassink, Wolter & Plantenga, Janneke, 2016. "Sickness absenteeism during a period of job-to-job transition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 145-147.
    3. Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2015. "The Pros and Cons of Sick Pay Schemes: A Method to Test for Contagious Presenteeism and Shirking Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 8850, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2015. "Trade union membership and sickness absence: Evidence from a sick pay reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 13-25.
    5. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2013. "Long-term absenteeism and moral hazard—Evidence from a natural experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 277-292.
    6. Stefanie Thönnes & Stefan Pichler, 2019. "Sickness absence and unemployment revisited," Working Papers Dissertations 53, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    7. María José Suárez & Cristina Muñiz, 2018. "Unobserved heterogeneity in work absence," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 19(8), pages 1137-1148, November.
    8. Flavia Coda Moscarola & Elsa Fornero & Steinar Strøm, 2016. "Absenteeism, childcare and the effectiveness of pension reforms," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, December.
    9. Chadi, Adrian & Goerke, Laszlo, 2015. "Missing at Work - Sickness-related Absence and Subsequent Job Mobility," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112862, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Stefan Pichler, 2015. "Sickness Absence, Moral Hazard, and the Business Cycle," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 692-710, June.
    11. Daniel Arnold & Tobias Brändle & Laszlo Goerke, 2014. "Sickness Absence and Works Councils - Evidence from German Individual and Linked Employer-Employee Data," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201410, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    12. Gürtzgen, Nicole & Hiesinger, Karolin, 2020. "Dismissal protection and long-term sickness absence: First evidence from Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 20-040, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    13. Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "The pros and cons of sick pay schemes: Testing for contagious presenteeism and noncontagious absenteeism behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 14-33.
    14. Chadi, Adrian & Goerke, Laszlo, 2018. "Missing at work – Sickness-related absence and subsequent career events," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 153-176.
    15. Alexander Ahammer, 2018. "Physicians, sick leave certificates, and patients' subsequent employment outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(6), pages 923-936, June.
    16. Gürtzgen, Nicole & Hiesinger, Karolin, 2020. "Dismissal Protection and Long-term Sickness Absence - First Evidence from Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 202022, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    17. Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2019. "Reprint of: The pros and cons of sick pay schemes: Testing for contagious presenteeism and noncontagious absenteeism behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 86-104.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Shirking; Absenteeism; Employment Protection Legislation; Unemployment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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