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Social Interaction and Sickness Absence

Author

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  • Lindbeck, Assar

    () (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Palme, Mårten

    () (Stockholm University)

  • Persson, Mats

    () (Institute for International Economic Studies)

Abstract

Does the average level of sickness absence in a neighborhood affect individual sickness absence through social interaction on the neighborhood level? To answer this question, we consider evidence of local benefit-dependency cultures. Well-known methodological problems in this type of analysis include avoiding the so-called reflection problem and disentangling the causal effects of group behavior on individual behavior from the effects of individual sorting on neighborhoods. Based on data from Sweden, we adopt several different approaches to deal with these problems. The results are robust in the sense that regardless of approach and identifying assumptions, we obtain statistically significant estimates indicating group effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindbeck, Assar & Palme, Mårten & Persson, Mats, 2007. "Social Interaction and Sickness Absence," Working Paper Series 725, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0725
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
    2. Andreas Ammermueller & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," CEE Discussion Papers 0065, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & José A. Scheinkman, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-548.
    4. Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Maggi, 2000. "Work Environment and Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials in a Large Italian Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1057-1090.
    5. Magnus Henrekson & Mats Persson, 2004. "The Effects on Sick Leave of Changes in the Sickness Insurance System," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 87-114, January.
    6. 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.
    7. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2003. "The Social Multiplier," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 345-353, 04/05.
    8. Åslund, Olof & Fredriksson, Peter, 2005. "Ethnic enclaves and welfare cultures - quasi-experimental evidence," Working Paper Series 2005:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    9. Lindbeck, Assar, 1995. " Welfare State Disincentives with Endogenous Habits and Norms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 477-494, December.
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    11. Lindbeck, Assar & Persson, Mats, 2006. "A Model of Income Insurance and Social Norms," Working Paper Series 659, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    12. Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2000. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1019-1055.
    13. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 2005. "Moral hazard and sickness insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1879-1890, September.
    14. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
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    17. Duflo, Esther & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "Participation and investment decisions in a retirement plan: the influence of colleagues' choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 121-148, July.
    18. Aizer, Anna & Currie, Janet, 2004. "Networks or neighborhoods? Correlations in the use of publicly-funded maternity care in California," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2573-2585, December.
    19. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Josephson, Malin & Karnehed, Nina & Lindahl, Erica & Persson, Helena, 2013. "Intergenerational transmission of long-term sick leave," Working Paper Series 2013:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    2. Stephen L. Ross, 2009. "Social Interactions within Cities: Neighborhood Environments and Peer Relationships," Working papers 2009-31, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    3. Rieck, Karsten Marshall Elseth & Vaage, Kjell, 2012. "Social Interactions At The Workplace: Exploring Sickness Absence Behavior," Working Papers in Economics 11/12, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    4. Per Engström & Per Johansson, 2012. "The medical doctors as gatekeepers in the sickness insurance?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(28), pages 3615-3625, October.
    5. Lindbeck, Assar, 2008. "Prospects for the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 731, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    6. Bratberg, Espen & Monstad, Karin, 2015. "Worried sick? Worker responses to a financial shock," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 111-120.
    7. Ethan Cohen-Cole & Giulio Zanella, 2008. "Welfare Stigma or Information Sharing? Decomposing Social Interactions Effects in Social Benefit Use," Department of Economics University of Siena 531, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    8. Lisa Jönsson & Mårten Palme & Ingemar Svensson, 2012. "Disability Insurance, Population Health, and Employment in Sweden," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Historical Trends in Mortality and Health, Employment, and Disability Insurance Participatio, pages 79-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Aaberge, Rolf & Flood, Lennart, 2008. "Evaluation of an In-Work Tax Credit Reform in Sweden: Effects on Labor Supply and Welfare Participation of Single Mothers," IZA Discussion Papers 3736, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Hesselius, Patrik & Johansson, Per & Vikström, Johan, 2008. "Monitoring and norms in sickness insurance: empirical evidence from a natural experiment," Working Paper Series 2008:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sick-pay Insurance; Work Absence; Moral Hazard; Social Norms;

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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