On the Inverse Relationship between Unemployment and Absenteeism: Evidence from Natural Experiments and Worker Heterogeneity
Although an inverse relationship between sickness absence and unemployment has been documented in a number of studies using either quarterly or annual data from different countries with varying institutional frameworks, it is not yet clear whether this empirical regularity is due to changes in the individual costs of absence when unemployment increases (incentive effect) or, alternatively, to changes in the composition of the workforce over the business cycle (selection effect). In order to provide evidence to evaluate the relative importance of both effects we first investigate the effects of changes in the unemployment benefit entitlement system with monthly absence data for East and West Germany for the years 1991-2004. Second, we analyze the impact of differences in the costs of unemployment on the annual absence rates of workers in different sickness insurance funds using state-level annual absence rates for the years 1993-2004. We find clear evidence in favor of an incentive effect.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2007|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- S Brown & J G Sessions, 2004. "Absenteeism, Presenteeism, and Shirking," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 9(1), pages 15-23, March.
- Riphahn Regina T. & Thalmaier Anja, 2001. "Behavioral Effects of Probation Periods: An Analysis of Worker Absenteeism / Anreizeffekte der Probezeit: Eine Untersuchung von Fehlzeiten bei Arbeitnehmern," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 221(2), pages 179-201, April.
- Hesselius, Patrik, 2003. "Does Sick Absence Increase the Risk of Unemployment?," Working Paper Series 2003:15, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
- Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
- Riphahn, Regina T. & Thalmaier, Anja, 9/10. "Behavioral Effects of Probation Periods: An Analysis of Worker Absenteeism," IZA Discussion Papers 67, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Leigh, J. Paul, 1991. "Employee and job attributes as predictors of absenteeism in a national sample of workers: The importance of health and dangerous working conditions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 127-137, January.
- Arai, Mahmood & Thoursie, Peter Skogman, 2005.
"Incentives and selection in cyclical absenteeism,"
Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 269-280, April.
- Kwiatkowski, D. & Phillips, P.C.B. & Schmidt, P., 1990.
"Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of Unit Root : How Sure are we that Economic Time Series have a Unit Root?,"
8905, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
- Kwiatkowski, Denis & Phillips, Peter C. B. & Schmidt, Peter & Shin, Yongcheol, 1992. "Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root : How sure are we that economic time series have a unit root?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1-3), pages 159-178.
- Denis Kwiatkowski & Peter C.B. Phillips & Peter Schmidt, 1991. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of a Unit Root: How Sure Are We That Economic Time Series Have a Unit Root?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 979, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Stephen Nickell & D Nicolitsas, 1994.
CEP Discussion Papers
dp0219, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Göran Kauermann & Renate Ortlieb, 2004. "Temporal pattern in number of staff on sick leave: the effect of downsizing," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 53(2), pages 355-367.
- Brown, Sarah & Sessions, John G, 1996. " The Economics of Absence: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 23-53, March.
- Knez, Marc & Simester, Duncan, 2001. "Firm-Wide Incentives and Mutual Monitoring at Continental Airlines," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 743-72, October.
- Tim A. Barmby & Marco G. Ercolani & John G. Treble, 2002.
"Sickness Absence: An International Comparison,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F315-F331, June.
- Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002.
"Unemployment, Labour Force Composition and Sickness Absence: A Panel Data Study,"
IZA Discussion Papers
466, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Jan Erik Askildsen & Espen Bratberg & Øivind Anti Nilsen, 2005. "Unemployment, labor force composition and sickness absence: a panel data study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(11), pages 1087-1101.
- Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002. "Unemployment, labour force composition and sickness absence. A panel data study," Working paper Series 0205, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
- Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002. "Unemployment, labour force composition and sickness absence. A panel data study," Working Papers in Economics 05/02, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
- Per Johansson & Mårten Palme, 2002.
"Assessing the Effect of Public Policy on Worker Absenteeism,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 381-409.
- Johansson, Per & Palme, Mårten, 2001. "Assessing the effect of public policy on worker absenteeism," Working Paper Series 2002:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
- Leigh, J. Paul, 1985. "The effects of unemployment and the business cycle on absenteeism," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 159-170, May.
- McGuire, Thomas G., 2000. "Physician agency," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 461-536 Elsevier.
- Doherty, N A, 1979. "National Insurance and Absence from Work," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(353), pages 50-65, March.
- Bauer, Thomas & Bender, Stefan & Bonin, Holger, 2004.
"Dismissal Protection and Worker Flows in Small Establishments,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4379, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Thomas K. Bauer & Stefan Bender & Holger Bonin, 2007. "Dismissal Protection and Worker Flows in Small Establishments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 804-821, November.
- Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Bonin, Holger, 2004. "Dismissal protection and worker flows in small establishments," IAB Discussion Paper 200401, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
- Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Bonin, Holger, 2004. "Dismissal Protection and Worker Flows in Small Establishments," IZA Discussion Papers 1105, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Allen, Steven G, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Work Attendance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 77-87, February.
- Robert Drago & Mark Wooden, 1992. "The Determinants of Labor Absence: Economic Factors and Workgroup Norms across Countries," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(4), pages 764-778, July.
- Barmby, Tim & Sessions, John G & Treble, John G, 1994. " Absenteeism, Efficiency Wages and Shirking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 561-66.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3171. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.