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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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File URL: https://www.uib.no/filearchive/wp.11.12.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Bergen, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 11/12.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 24 Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2012_011
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Institutt for økonomi, Universitetet i Bergen, Postboks 7802, 5020 Bergen, Norway

Phone: (+47)55589200
Fax: (+47)55589210
Web page: http://www.uib.no/econ/en
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  1. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2000. "Interactions-Based Models," Working Papers 00-05-028, Santa Fe Institute.
  2. 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).
  3. Bradley, Steve & Green, Colin & Leeves, Gareth, 2007. "Worker absence and shirking: Evidence from matched teacher-school data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-334, June.
  4. Hesselius, Patrik & Johansson, Per & Nilsson, Peter, 2009. "Sick of Your Colleagues' Absence?," IZA Discussion Papers 3960, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Mas, Alexandre & Moretti, Enrico, 2006. "Peers at Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 5870, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Lindbeck, Assar & Palme, Mårten & Persson, Mats, 2009. "Social Interaction and Sickness Absence," Research Papers in Economics 2009:4, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  7. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2009. "Social Incentives in the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 4190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. Patrik Hesselius, 2009. "Is Leisure Contagious? The Relationship Between Sickness Absence And Spousal Retirement," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 209(1), pages 104-115, July.
  10. Lawrence E. Blume & William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0754, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  11. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  12. Imran Rasul & Iwan Barankay & Orana Bandiera, 2005. "Social preferences and the response to incentives: Evidence from personnel data," Natural Field Experiments 00212, The Field Experiments Website.
  13. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
  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.
  15. Treble,John & Barmby,Tim, 2011. "Worker Absenteeism and Sick Pay," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521806954.
  16. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1994. "Human Relations in the Workplace," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 684-717, August.
  17. 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, 04.
  18. Simen Markussen & Knut Røed, 2015. "Social Insurance Networks," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(4), pages 1081-1113.
  19. Olof Åslund & Peter Fredriksson, 2009. "Peer Effects in Welfare Dependence: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  20. Bryan S. Graham, 2008. "Identifying Social Interactions Through Conditional Variance Restrictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 643-660, 05.
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