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Social Interactions At The Workplace: Exploring Sickness Absence Behavior




We investigate whether a worker’s sickness absence is affected by her colleagues’ absences from the workplace. The analysis is based on unique matched employer-employee data for Norwegian schoolteachers for the period 2001 to 2006 with information on different types of absences and multiple teacher and school characteristics. Using different approaches where methodological problems such as the reflection problem and intra-group correlation are mitigated, we look for evidence of social interaction effects. Our results show that the significance of the social interaction effects critically depends on our ability to control for unobserved school characteristics.

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  • Rieck, Karsten Marshall Elseth & Vaage, Kjell, 2012. "Social Interactions At The Workplace: Exploring Sickness Absence Behavior," Working Papers in Economics 11/12, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2012_011

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    1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
    2. Bryan S. Graham, 2008. "Identifying Social Interactions Through Conditional Variance Restrictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 643-660, May.
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    6. Adriaan R. Soetevent, 2006. "Empirics of the Identification of Social Interactions; An Evaluation of the Approaches and Their Results ," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 193-228, April.
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    8. Kato, Takao & Shu, Pian, 2008. "Performance Spillovers and Social Network in the Workplace: Evidence from Rural and Urban Weavers in a Chinese Textile Firm," IZA Discussion Papers 3340, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    12. Blume, Lawrence E. & Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N. & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions," Economics Series 260, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    13. Hesselius, Patrik & Johansson, Per & Nilsson, Peter, 2009. "Sick of your colleagues' absence?," Working Paper Series 2009:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    14. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karsten Marshall Elseth Rieck & Kjetil Telle, 2012. "Sick leave before, during and after pregnancy," Discussion Papers 690, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

    More about this item


    Social interaction; peer effects; sickness absence;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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