The Impact of Working Conditions on Sickness Absence : A Theoretical Model and an Empirical Application to Work Schedules
This paper explores how poor working conditions impact sickness absence through their effecton health. Our contribution is two-fold. First, we develop a static theoretical model based on theconcept of health capital, wherein poor working conditions are partially compensated by higherwages. According to our model, the effect of working conditions on sickness absence isambiguous. Second, we apply our model to the case of working time arrangements and test theeffect of working irregular schedules or shift work on sickness absence, using data from theFrench Labor Force Survey on a specific population (male manual workers in the privatesector). As observed and unobserved heterogeneity may lead to severe bias, we use propensityscore matching methods. Our estimates show that working irregular schedules has a significantimpact on sickness absence. The results are more mitigated for shift work. In any case, theextent crucially depends on age.
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