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A Natural Experiment on Sick Pay Cuts, Sickness Absence, and Labor Costs

Listed author(s):
  • Nicolas R. Ziebarth
  • Martin Karlsson

This study estimates the reform effects of a reduction in statutory sick pay levels on various outcome dimensions. A federal law reduced the legal obligation of German employers to provide 100 percent continued wages for up to six weeks per sickness episode to 80 percent. This measure increased the ratio of employees having no days of absence by about 7.5 percent. The mean number of absence days per year decreased by about 5 percent. The reform might have reduced total labor costs by about €1.5 billion per year which might have led to the creation of around 50,000 new jobs.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.344885.de/diw_sp0244.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 244.

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Length: 37 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp244
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Riphahn, Regina T., 2004. "Employment protection and effort among German employees," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 353-357, December.
  2. Puhani, Patrick A. & Sonderhof, Katja, 2010. "The effects of a sick pay reform on absence and on health-related outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 285-302, March.
  3. Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002. "Unemployment, labour force composition and sickness absence. A panel data study," Working Papers in Economics 05/02, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  4. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 2000. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages 672-694, November.
  5. Susan Chen & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2006. "The Work Disincentive Effects of the Disability Insurance Program in the 1990s," Working Papers 06-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Bound, John, 1989. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 482-503, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M. & Imbens, Guido, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Scholarly Articles 3043416, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2009. "Long-Term Absenteeism and Moral Hazard: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 172, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  10. Per Johansson & Mårten Palme, 2002. "Assessing the Effect of Public Policy on Worker Absenteeism," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 381-409.
  11. 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).
  12. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  13. Michael Feil & Sabine Klinger & Gerd Zika, 2008. "Der Beschäftigungseffekt geringerer Sozialabgaben in Deutschland - Wie beeinflusst die Wahl des Simulationsmodells das Ergebnis?," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 128(3), pages 431-460.
  14. Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 5866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Henrekson, Magnus & Persson, Mats, 2001. "The Effects on Sick Leave of Changes in the Sickness Insurance System," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 0444, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 08 Aug 2001.
  16. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
  17. Doherty, N A, 1979. "National Insurance and Absence from Work," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(353), pages 50-65, March.
  18. Michele Campolieti, 2004. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply: Some Additional Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 863-890, October.
  19. Puhani, Patrick A., 2012. "The treatment effect, the cross difference, and the interaction term in nonlinear “difference-in-differences” models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 85-87.
  20. Georges Dionne & Benoit Dostie, 2005. "New Evidence on the Determinants of Absenteeism Using Linked Employer-Employee Data," Cahiers de recherche 05-04, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  21. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  22. Leo Bonato & Lusine Lusinyan, 2004. "Work Absence in Europe," IMF Working Papers 04/193, International Monetary Fund.
  23. Nicolas R. Ziebarth & Martin Karlsson, 2009. "The Effects of Expanding the Generosity of the Statutory Sickness Insurance System," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 245, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  24. Meyer, Bruce D & Viscusi, W Kip & Durbin, David L, 1995. "Workers' Compensation and Injury Duration: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 322-340, June.
  25. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
  26. Fenn, Paul T, 1981. "Sickness Duration, Residual Disability, and Income Replacement: An Empirical Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(361), pages 158-173, March.
  27. Per Pettersson-Lidbom & Peter Skogman Thoursie, 2013. "Temporary Disability Insurance and Labor Supply: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(2), pages 485-507, 04.
  28. William P. Curington, 1994. "Compensation for Permanent Impairment and the Duration of Work Absence: Evidence from Four Natural Experiments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 888-910.
  29. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2003. "Cluster-Sample Methods in Applied Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 133-138, May.
  30. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 2005. "Moral hazard and sickness insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1879-1890, September.
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