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Employment Protection and Sickness Absence

An exemption in the Swedish Employment Security Act (LAS) in 2001 made it possible for employers with a maximum of ten employees to exempt two workers from the seniority rule at times of redundancies. Using this within-country enforcement variation, the relationship between employment protection and sickness absence among employees is examined. The average treatment effect from the exemption is found to decrease sickness absence by more than 13 percent at those establishments that were treated relative to those that were not and this was due to a behavioral, rather than a compositional, effect. The results suggest that the exemption had the largest impact on shorter spells and among establishments with a relatively low share of females or temporary contracts.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 717.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 19 Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Labour Economics, 2009, pages 208-214.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0717
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

Phone: +46 8 665 4500
Fax: +46 8 665 4599
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  1. Kugler, Adriana & Pica, Giovanni, 2005. "Effects of Employment Protection on Worker and Job Flows: Evidence from the 1990 Italian Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 1743, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Assar Lindbeck & Marten Palme & Mats Persson, 2006. "Job Security and Work Absence: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1687, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Engellandt, Axel & Riphahn, Regina T., 2003. "Temporary Contracts and Employee Effort," IZA Discussion Papers 780, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Julián Messina & Giovanna Vallanti, 2007. "Job Flow Dynamics and Firing Restrictions: Evidence from Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 279-301, 06.
  5. Arai, Mahmood & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2001. "Incentives and Selection in Cyclical Absenteeism," Working Paper Series 167, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  6. David H. Autor & William R. Kerr & Adriana D. Kugler, 2007. "Do Employment Protections Reduce Productivity? Evidence from U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 12860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1998. "Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Working papers 98-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Tito Boeri & Juan F. Jimeno, . "The Effects of Employment Protection: Learning from Variable Enforcement," Working Papers 2003-12, FEDEA.
  9. 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.
  10. Andrea Ichino & Regina T. Riphahn, 2005. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: Absenteeism During and After Probation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 120-143, 03.
  11. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  12. W. Bentley MacLeod & Voraprapa Nakavachara, 2007. "Can Wrongful Discharge Law Enhance Employment?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 218-278, 06.
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