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The Role of Sickness in the Evaluation of Job Search Assistance and Sanctions

Author

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  • van den Berg, Gerard J.

    (University of Groningen)

  • Hofmann, Barbara

    (FEA Nuremberg)

  • Uhlendorff, Arne

    (CREST)

Abstract

Unemployment insurance agencies may combat moral hazard by punishing refusals to apply to assigned vacancies. However, the possibility to report sick creates an additional moral hazard, since during sickness spells, minimum requirements on search behavior do not apply. This reduces the ex ante threat of sanctions. We analyze the effects of vacancy referrals and sanctions on the unemployment duration and the quality of job matches, in conjunction with the possibility to report sick. We estimate multi-spell duration models with selection on unobserved characteristics. We find that a vacancy referral increases the transition rate into work and that such accepted jobs go along with lower wages. We also find a positive effect of a vacancy referral on the probability of reporting sick. This effect is smaller at high durations, which suggests that the relative attractiveness of vacancy referrals increases over the time spent in unemployment. Overall, around 9% of sickness absence during unemployment is induced by vacancy referrals.

Suggested Citation

  • van den Berg, Gerard J. & Hofmann, Barbara & Uhlendorff, Arne, 2016. "The Role of Sickness in the Evaluation of Job Search Assistance and Sanctions," IZA Discussion Papers 9626, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9626
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    Cited by:

    1. Eva Van Belle & Ralf Caers & Marijke De Couck & Valentina Di Stasio & Stijn Baert, 2019. "The Signal of Applying for a Job Under a Vacancy Referral Scheme," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 251-274, April.
    2. Caliendo, Marco, 2019. "Health Effects of Labor Market Policies: Evidence from Drug Prescriptions," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203573, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. De Brouwer, Octave & Leduc, Elisabeth & Tojerow, Ilan, 2019. "The Unexpected Consequences of Job Search Monitoring: Disability Instead of Employment?," IZA Discussion Papers 12304, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Morescalchi Andrea & Paruolo Paolo, 2020. "Too Much Stick for the Carrot? Job Search Requirements and Search Behaviour of Unemployment Benefit Claimants," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(1), pages 1-21, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment insurance; wage; physician; vacancy referrals; unemployment; monitoring; moral hazard;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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