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Behavioral Effects of Probation Periods: An Analysis of Worker Absenteeism


  • Riphahn, Regina T.

    () (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Thalmaier, Anja

    () (IZA)


The theoretical probation literature shows that individuals have incentives to mimick "good workers" during periods of employment probation. This study empirically tests at the example of absence behavior, whether such behavioral responses to the incentives of probation periods exist. We find significant responses of white collar employees and public sector workers to probation periods: Once individuals enter into regular employment and employment probation is completed, the probability of work absences takes discrete jumps and is significantly above previous levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Riphahn, Regina T. & Thalmaier, Anja, 1999. "Behavioral Effects of Probation Periods: An Analysis of Worker Absenteeism," IZA Discussion Papers 67, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp67

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 1996. "Do economic incentives affect work absence? Empirical evidence using Swedish micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 195-218, February.
    2. Barmby, Tim & Orme, Chris & Treble, John, 1995. "Worker absence histories: a panel data study," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 53-65, March.
    3. Jessica Primoff Vistnes, 1997. "Gender Differences in Days Lost from Work Due to Illness," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(2), pages 304-323, January.
    4. Asha Sadanand & Venkatraman Sadanand & Denton Marks, 1989. "Probationary Contracts in Agencies with Bilateral Asymmetric Information," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 22(3), pages 643-661, August.
    5. Eng Seng Loh, 1994. "Employment Probation as a Sorting Mechanism," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 471-486, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schneider, Julia & Beblo, Miriam, 2010. "Health at work - indicators and determinants : a revised literature and data review for Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 201017, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Fahr, René & Frick, Bernd, 2007. "On the Inverse Relationship between Unemployment and Absenteeism: Evidence from Natural Experiments and Worker Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 3171, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    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. Engellandt, Axel & Riphahn, Regina T., 2005. "Temporary contracts and employee effort," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 281-299, June.
    5. Konstantinos, Pouliakas & Ioannis, Theodossiou, 2010. "An Inquiry Into the Theory, Causes and Consequences of Monitoring Indicators of Health and Safety At Work," MPRA Paper 20336, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Tobias Böhm & Nadine Riedel, 2013. "On Selection into Public Civil Service," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(1), pages 34-71, March.
    7. Pfeifer Christian, 2010. "Work Effort During and After Employment Probation: Evidence from German Personnel Data," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(1), pages 77-91, February.
    8. Vincenzo Scoppa, 2010. "Worker absenteeism and incentives: evidence from Italy," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(8), pages 503-515, December.
    9. Maria De Paola & Valeria Pupo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2009. "Absenteeism In The Italian Public Sector: The Effects Of Changes In Sick Leave Compensation," Working Papers 200916, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.

    More about this item


    absenteeism; Probation;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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