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Long-term Consequences of Workplace Bullying on Sickness Absence

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  • Eriksen, Tine Louise Mundbjerg

    (Aarhus University)

  • Hogh, Annie

    (University of Copenhagen)

  • Hansen, Åse Marie

    (University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

Bullying in workplaces is a problem thought to harm individual productivity. This paper investigates whether being exposed to bullying in the workplace increases long-term sickness absence. We analyze employees from a selection of workplaces from The Bullying Cohort Study conducted in Denmark in 2006. The Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised was used to avoid bias related to self-labeling as being bullied. We account for important confounders, such as historical information on sickness absence and mental health, obtained through rich registry data. Our results show that gender does not significantly explain exposure to bullying and that exposure to bullying is associated with negative immediate self-reported health for both genders. We also find, however, that only bullied females have higher, persistent increases in long-term sickness absence and adverse long-term health. This suggests that men and women have different coping strategies. We investigate plausible explanations for this and find that the differences cannot be explained by, for example, turnover or lack of employment. Although insignificant, our results nonetheless indicate that men are twice as likely to leave the labor force immediately after exposure to bullying.

Suggested Citation

  • Eriksen, Tine Louise Mundbjerg & Hogh, Annie & Hansen, Åse Marie, 2016. "Long-term Consequences of Workplace Bullying on Sickness Absence," IZA Discussion Papers 10101, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10101
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bubonya, Melisa & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Wooden, Mark, 2017. "Mental health and productivity at work: Does what you do matter?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 150-165.
    2. Mohamed Ali Ben Halima & Nathalie Greenan & Joseph Lanfranchi, 2021. "Organisational changes and long-term sickness absence and injury leave: a difference in difference approach," Working Papers hal-03243494, HAL.
    3. Amanda Gaulke, 2021. "Individual and family labor market impacts of chronic diseases," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 482-482, January.
    4. Karen Evelyn Hauge & Marte Eline Ulvestad, 2017. "Having a bad attitude? The relationship between attitudes and sickness absence," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 6(1), pages 1-27, December.
    5. Dain Jung & Do Won Kwak & Kam Ki Tang & Myra Yazbeck, 2021. "How Do Job Conditions Amplify the Impacts of Mental Health Shocks?," Discussion Papers Series 647, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    6. Trude Gunnes & Nina Drange & Kjetil Telle, 2018. "Workload, staff composition, and sickness absence. Findings from employees in child care centers," Discussion Papers 882, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    working environment; harassment; absenteeism; health; gender;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions

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