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Can sickness absence be affected by information meetings? Evidence from a social experiment

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  • Johansson, Per

    () (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

  • Lindahl, Erica

    () (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

Abstract

During the last decade several empirical studies have stressed the importance of norms and social interactions for explaining sickness absence behavior. In this context public discussions about the intentions of the insurance, and of the rights and duties of the receivers, may be important for reducing the sickness absence. In this paper we study whether information meetings about the Swedish sickness insurance affect the length of sickness absence spells. The study is based on experimental data on individuals with weak labor market attachments. The displacement of when the call to the meeting was sent out was randomized. Comparing the survival functions of those called immediately with those whose calls were delayed (by about 30 days) makes it possible to study whether the length of sickness absence is affected by receiving the call earlier. The result suggests that the length is reduced by, on average, 20 percent. In the long term (12 months later) there is no effect of the information meeting. This suggests that attendance to the information meeting does not change individuals’ long-term behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Johansson, Per & Lindahl, Erica, 2010. "Can sickness absence be affected by information meetings? Evidence from a social experiment," Working Paper Series 2010:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2010_011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Social Insurance and Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10918, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Barbara Hofmann, 2014. "Sick of being “Activated?”," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 1103-1127, November.
    3. Per Engström & Pathric Hägglund & Per Johansson, 2017. "Early Interventions and Disability Insurance: Experience from a Field Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(600), pages 363-392, March.
    4. Markussen, Simen & Røed, Knut & Schreiner, Ragnhild C., 2015. "Can Compulsory Dialogues Nudge Sick-Listed Workers Back to Work?," IZA Discussion Papers 9090, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. repec:spr:empeco:v:52:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1117-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    monitoring; moral hazard; public social insurance; survival analysis; instrumental variables;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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