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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. Bronwyn H. 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," NBER Working Papers 11739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053, Junio.
  4. Leo Bonato & Lusine Lusinyan, 2004. "Work Absence in Europe," IMF Working Papers 04/193, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Simen Markussen, 2012. "The individual cost of sick leave," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 1287-1306, October.
  6. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
  7. 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).
  8. Markussen, Simen, 2009. "Closing the Gates? Evidence from a Natural Experiment on Physicians' Sickness Certification," Memorandum 19/2009, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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