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The Role of Beliefs in Long Sickness Absence: Experimental Evidence from a Psychological Intervention

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  • Pons Rotger, Gabriel

    (VIVE - The Danish Centre for Applied Social Science)

  • Rosholm, Michael

    (Aarhus University)

Abstract

This paper makes use of the randomized allocation of workers on sick leave in Denmark into self-management support, to examine the role of beliefs about control for prolonged absenteeism due to illness. Our results demonstrate that the ability of the intervention to lead sick-listed workers toward resuming employment crucially depends on workers' control beliefs. The intervention increases the perception of control among control pessimists and substantially accelerates the decision to return to work. Furthermore, we identify a group of control-optimist workers for whom "learning" about control beliefs is self-defeating, and leads them toward reduced capacity in terms of return-to-work performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Pons Rotger, Gabriel & Rosholm, Michael, 2020. "The Role of Beliefs in Long Sickness Absence: Experimental Evidence from a Psychological Intervention," IZA Discussion Papers 13582, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13582
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sickness insurance; personality traits; randomized control trial; machine learning;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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