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Monitoring and norms in sickness insurance: empirical evidence from a natural experiment

  • Hesselius, Patrik

    ()

    (Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

  • Johansson, Per

    ()

    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

  • Vikström, Johan

    ()

    (IFAU- Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

We test if social work norms are important for work absence due to self-perceived sickness. To this end, we use a randomized social experiment designed to estimate the effect of monitoring on work absence. The treated were exposed to less monitoring of their eligibility to use sickness insurance, which increased their non-monitored work absence. Based on a difference in differences analysis, we find that the not directly treated also increased their absence as a result of the experiment. By using an instrumental variables estimator, we find significant endogenous social interaction effects. A 10 per cent exogenous shock in work absence would lead to an immediate 5.7 per cent decrease in the hazard out of sickness absence: the long-run effect is calculated as a 13.3 per cent decrease in the corresponding hazard.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2008:8.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 16 May 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Hesselius, Patrik, Per Johansson and Johan Vikström, 'Social Behaviour in Work Absence' in The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2013, pages 995-1019.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2008_008
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  1. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-90, June.
  2. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2001. "Discrete Choice with Social Interactions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 235-260.
  3. Lindbeck, Assar & Palme, Mårten & Persson, Mats, 2009. "Social Interaction and Sickness Absence," Research Papers in Economics 2009:4, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  4. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2000. "Interactions-Based Models," Working Papers 00-05-028, Santa Fe Institute.
  5. Hesselius, Patrik & Johansson, Per & Larsson, Laura, 2005. "Monitoring sickness insurance claimants: evidence from a social experiment," Working Paper Series 2005:15, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  6. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 7580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hedström, Peter & Kolm, Ann-Sofie & Åberg, Yvonne, 2003. "Social interactions and unemployment," Working Paper Series 2003:15, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  8. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 2005. "Moral hazard and sickness insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1879-1890, September.
  9. Bryan S. Graham, 2008. "Identifying Social Interactions Through Conditional Variance Restrictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 643-660, 05.
  10. George J. Borjas, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-150.
  11. Topa, Giorgio, 1997. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Working Papers 97-17, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  12. Graham, Bryan S. & Hahn, Jinyong, 2005. "Identification and estimation of the linear-in-means model of social interactions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-6, July.
  13. Conley, T.G. & Topa, G., 1999. "Socio-Economic Distance and Spatial Patterns in Unemployment," Working Papers 99-04, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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