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Sickness Absence and Local Cultures

Author

Listed:
  • Ekblad, Kristin

    () (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics)

  • Bokenblom, Mattias

    () (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics)

Abstract

Sickness absence has been found to vary substantially across geographical areas. There are large differences between different countries but also between different regions within a particular country. In the literature some of these observed differentials have been suggested to stem from differences in local norms with regard to the legitimacy of living off benefits. The aim of our study is to investigate the effect of geographical and presumed cultural context on sickness absence. In order to identify this effect we compare changes in sickness related absence for individuals who move from one Swedish region to another with those occurring when individuals move within Swedish regions. Our results indicate that the region of residence is important to the individual sickness related absence. Moreover, we cannot rule out the possibility that the observed patterns are caused by local cultures regarding sickness absence and the existence of a so called “cultural illness”.

Suggested Citation

  • Ekblad, Kristin & Bokenblom, Mattias, 2010. "Sickness Absence and Local Cultures," Working Papers 2010:11, Örebro University, School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:oruesi:2010_011
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sickness absence; social norms; domestic migration;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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