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The Effect of Paid Vacation on Health: Evidence from Sweden

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Abstract

This study estimates the causal effect of paid vacation on health. Using register data on the universe of central government employees in Sweden, I exploit an age-based rule stipulated in the collective agreement covering these employees. Identification is achieved by combining a regression discontinuity with a difference-in-differences design to control for time-invariant differences between consecutive birth cohorts and isolate the true effect at two separate discontinuities at ages 30 and 40. The main results indicate no statistically significant changes in health (proxied by specialized outpatient care visits, inpatient care admissions, and long-term sick leaves) induced by an increase of three paid vacation days at age 30 and four days at age 40. There is no evidence of significant effects by sex, being a (lone) parent, education level, or broad group of diagnoses. These findings challenge the anecdotally-motivated view of additional paid vacation days as a means to improve workers' health.

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  • Hofmarcher, Thomas, 2017. "The Effect of Paid Vacation on Health: Evidence from Sweden," Working Papers 2017:13, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 17 Nov 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2017_013
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    File URL: http://project.nek.lu.se/publications/workpap/papers/wp17_13.pdf
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    1. Huzeyfe Torun & Semih Tumen, 2017. "The empirical content of season-of-birth effects: An investigation with Turkish data," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 37(57), pages 1825-1860.
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    5. Ali Fakih, 2014. "Vacation Leave, Work Hours, and Wages: New Evidence from Linked Employer–Employee Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 28(4), pages 376-398, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    vacation; holiday; working time; health;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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