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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Olsson, Martin, 2007. "Employment Protection and Sickness Absence," Working Paper Series 717, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0717

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boeri, Tito & Jimeno, Juan F., 2005. "The effects of employment protection: Learning from variable enforcement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 2057-2077, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Di Cintio & Emanuele Grassi, 2015. "Wage Incentive Profiles in Dual Labour Markets," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(328), pages 790-812, October.
    2. Ahn, Thomas & Yelowitz, Aaron, 2016. "Paid Sick Leave and Absenteeism: The First Evidence from the U.S," MPRA Paper 69794, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Vincenzo Scoppa & Daniela Vuri, 2014. "Absenteeism, unemployment and employment protection legislation: evidence from Italy," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-25, December.
    4. Olsson, Martin, 2013. "Employment Protection and Parental Child Care," Working Paper Series 952, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    5. Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Suziedelyte, Agne, 2017. "World Commodity Prices, Job Security and Health: Evidence from the Mining Industry," IZA Discussion Papers 11251, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Anders Bornhäll & Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Niklas Rudholm, 2017. "Employment protection legislation and firm growth: evidence from a natural experiment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 169-185.
    7. Carlo Alberto Biscardo & Alessandro Bucciol & Paolo Pertile, 2015. "Who should monitor job sick leave?," Working Papers 18/2015, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    8. Bjuggren, Carl Magnus, 2018. "Employment protection and labor productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 138-157.
    9. Arnold, Daniel & Brändle, Tobias & Goerke, Laszlo, 2013. "Sickness Absence, Works Councils, and Personnel Problems. Evidence from German Individual and Linked Employer-Employee Data," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79906, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2015. "Trade union membership and sickness absence: Evidence from a sick pay reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 13-25.
    11. Aaviksoo, Evelyn & Kiivet, Raul Allan, 2016. "Influence of the sickness benefit reform on sickness absence," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(9), pages 1070-1078.
    12. Cristini, Annalisa & Origo, Federica & Pinoli, Sara, 2017. "The healthy fright of losing a good one for a bad one," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 129-144.
    13. Daniel Arnold & Tobias Brändle & Laszlo Goerke, 2014. "Sickness Absence and Works Councils - Evidence from German Individual and Linked Employer-Employee Data," IAW Discussion Papers 107, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    14. Leila Baghdadi & Rihab Bellakhal & Marc-Arthur Diaye, 2016. "Financial Participation: Does the Risk Transfer Story Hold in France?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 54(1), pages 3-29, March.
    15. Mohamed Ali Ben Halima & Thierry Debrand & Camille Regaert, 2012. "Sick Leaves: Understanding Disparities Between French Departments," Working Papers DT50, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Oct 2012.
    16. Fernández-Kranz, Daniel & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2013. "Can Parents' Right to Work Part-Time Hurt Childbearing-Aged Women? A Natural Experiment with Administrative Data," IZA Discussion Papers 7509, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Per Skedinger, 2010. "Employment Protection Legislation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13686.
    18. Andrew Sharpe & Alexander Murray, 2011. "State of the Evidence on Health as a Determinant of Productivity," CSLS Research Reports 2011-04, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    19. Steve Bradley & Colin Green & Gareth Leeves, 2014. "Employment Protection, Threat and Incentive Effects on Worker Absence," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 52(2), pages 333-358, June.
    20. Inmaculada Garcia & Colin Green & Maria Navarro Paniagua, 2012. "New Estimates of the Effect of Temporary Employment on Absenteeism," Working Papers 24151321, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    21. Bjuggren, Carl Magnus, 2015. "Sensitivity to shocks and implicit employment protection in family firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 18-31.
    22. von Below, David & Thoursie, Peter Skogman, 2010. "Last in, first out?: Estimating the effect of seniority rules in Sweden," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 987-997, December.
    23. Addessi, William, 2014. "The productivity effect of permanent and temporary labor contracts in the Italian manufacturing sector," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 666-672.

    More about this item


    Employment Protection; Sickness Absence; Economic Incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J88 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Public Policy

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