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Trade Union Membership and Sickness Absence: Evidence from a Sick Pay Reform

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  • Goerke, Laszlo

    (IAAEU, University of Trier)

  • Pannenberg, Markus

    (Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences)

Abstract

In 1996, statutory sick pay was reduced for private sector workers in Germany. Using the empirical observation that trade union members are dismissed less often than non-members, we construct a model to predict how absence behaviour will respond to the sick pay reform. We show that union members may have stronger incentives to be absent and to react to the cut in sick pay. In the empirical investigation, we find a positive relationship between trade union membership and absence due to sickness and observe more pronounced reactions to the cut in sick pay among union members than among non-members. These findings suggest that more flexibility in the use of paid absence due to sickness constitutes a private gain from trade union membership.

Suggested Citation

  • Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2012. "Trade Union Membership and Sickness Absence: Evidence from a Sick Pay Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 6777, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6777
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    Cited by:

    1. Adrian Chadi & Laszlo Goerke, 2015. "Missing at Work – Sickness-related Absence and Subsequent Job Mobility," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201504, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    2. Lorenz, Olga & Goerke, Laszlo, 2015. "Commuting and Sickness Absence," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113173, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Maclean, J. Catherine & Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2020. "Mandated Sick Pay: Coverage, Utilization, and Welfare Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 13132, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Laszlo Goerke, 2017. "Sick pay reforms and health status in a unionised labour market," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 64(2), pages 115-142, May.
    5. Uwe Jirjahn, 2013. "Der Beitrag der Arbeitsmarktökonomik zur Erforschung von Gewerkschaften und Tarifvertragsbeziehungen in Deutschland," Research Papers in Economics 2013-03, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    6. Arnold, Daniel & Brändle, Tobias & Goerke, Laszlo, 2013. "Sickness Absence, Works Councils, and Personnel Problems. Evidence from German Individual and Linked Employer-Employee Data," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79906, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Kieu‐Dung Nguyen & Van‐AnhThi Tran & Duc‐Thanh Nguyen, 2021. "Social insurance reform and absenteeism in Vietnam," International Journal of Social Welfare, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 30(2), pages 193-207, April.
    8. Laszlo Goerke, 2016. "Sick Pay Reforms and Health Status in a Unionised Labour Market," IAAEG Discussion Papers until 2011 201604, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    9. Nicolas R. Ziebarth & Martin Karlsson, 2014. "The Effects Of Expanding The Generosity Of The Statutory Sickness Insurance System," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 208-230, March.
    10. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2013. "Long-term absenteeism and moral hazard—Evidence from a natural experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 277-292.
    11. Chadi, Adrian & Goerke, Laszlo, 2018. "Missing at work – Sickness-related absence and subsequent career events," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 153-176.
    12. Daniel Arnold & Tobias Brändle & Laszlo Goerke, 2014. "Sickness Absence and Works Councils - Evidence from German Individual and Linked Employer-Employee Data," IAW Discussion Papers 107, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    13. Harald Dale-Olsen, 2014. "Sickness Absence, Sick Leave Pay, and Pay Schemes," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 28(1), pages 40-63, March.
    14. Stefanie Thönnes & Stefan Pichler, 2019. "Sickness absence and unemployment revisited," Working Papers Dissertations 53, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    15. María José Suárez & Cristina Muñiz, 2018. "Unobserved heterogeneity in work absence," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 19(8), pages 1137-1148, November.
    16. Stefan Pichler & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2020. "Labor Market Effects of U.S. Sick Pay Mandates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 55(2), pages 611-659.
    17. Arnold, Daniel Timo & de Pinto, Marco, 2015. "Sickness absence, presenteeism and work-related characteristics," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113118, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    18. Martín-Román, Ángel L. & Moral, Alfonso & Pinillos-Franco, Sara, 2022. "Are women breaking the glass ceiling? A gendered analysis of the duration of sick leave in Spain," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1099, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    19. Uwe Jirjahn, 2015. "Research on Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining in Germany: The Contribution of Labor Economics," Research Papers in Economics 2015-10, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    20. Laszlo Goerke & Sabrina Jeworrek & Markus Pannenberg, 2015. "Trade union membership and paid vacation in Germany," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-26, December.
    21. Mark L. Bryan & Andrew M. Bryce & Jennifer Roberts, 2021. "The effect of mental and physical health problems on sickness absence," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 22(9), pages 1519-1533, December.
    22. A. Cazenave-Lacroutz & A. Godzinski, 2017. "Effects of the one-day waiting period for sick leave on health-related absences in the French central civil service," Documents de Travail de l'Insee - INSEE Working Papers g2017-06, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP); sickness-related absence; difference-in-differences; statutory sick pay; trade union membership;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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