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The Rise in Absenteeism: Disentangling the Impacts of Cohort, Age and Time

  • Biorn, Erik

    ()

    (University of Oslo)

  • Gaure, Simen

    ()

    (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Markussen, Simen

    ()

    (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Røed, Knut

    ()

    (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

We examine the remarkable rise in absenteeism among Norwegian employees since the early 1990's, with particular emphasis on disentangling the roles of cohort, age, and time. Based on a fixed effects model, we show that individual age-adjusted absence propensities have risen even more than aggregate absence rates from 1993 to 2005, debunking the popular hypothesis that the rise in absenteeism resulted from the inclusion of new cohorts – with weaker work-norms – into the workforce. We also reject the idea that the rise in absenteeism resulted from more successful integration of workers with poor health; on the contrary, a massive rise in disability rolls during the 1990’s suggest that poor-health workers have left the labor market in unprecedented numbers.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5091.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2013, 26 (4), 1585-1608
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5091
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  1. Markussen, Simen & Røed, Knut & Røgeberg, Ole J. & Gaure, Simen, 2009. "The Anatomy of Absenteeism," IZA Discussion Papers 4240, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bronwyn Hall & Jacques Mairesse & Laure Turner, 2005. "Identifying Age, Cohort and Period Effects in Scientific Research Productivity : Discussion and Illustration Using Simulated and Actual Data on French Physicists," Working Papers 2005-22, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. 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.
  4. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  5. Simen Markussen, 2012. "The individual cost of sick leave," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 1287-1306, October.
  6. Markussen, Simen, 2009. "Closing the Gates? Evidence from a Natural Experiment on Physicians' Sickness Certification," Memorandum 19/2009, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  7. Lusine Lusinyan & Leo Bonato, 2007. "Work Absence in Europe," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(3), pages 475-538, July.
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