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Profiling the US Sick Leave Landscape

Author

Listed:
  • Susser, Philip

    (Cornell University)

  • Ziebarth, Nicolas R.

    (Cornell University)

Abstract

This paper profiles the sick leave landscape in the US – the only industrialized country without universal access to paid sick leave or other forms of paid leave. We exploit the 2011 Leave Supplement of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), a representative and comprehensive database on sick leave in the US. The two binary outcome variables measure (i) access to paid sick leave and (ii) suppressed sick leave ("presenteeism"). Thirty-five percent of US full-time employees lack access to paid sick leave. Low-income employees, service sector employees, and those in poor health have the lowest coverage rates. We estimate that, each week, up to three million US employees suppress their need for sick leave and engage in presenteeism behavior. These are primarily women with children and low-wage sector jobs.

Suggested Citation

  • Susser, Philip & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2016. "Profiling the US Sick Leave Landscape," IZA Discussion Papers 9709, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9709
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wen-Jui Han & Christopher Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2009. "Parental leave policies and parents' employment and leave-taking," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 29-54.
    2. Maya Rossin‐Slater & Christopher J. Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2013. "The Effects of California's Paid Family Leave Program on Mothers’ Leave‐Taking and Subsequent Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(2), pages 224-245, March.
    3. Ziebarth, Nicolas R. & Karlsson, Martin, 2010. "A natural experiment on sick pay cuts, sickness absence, and labor costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 1108-1122, December.
    4. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2013. "Long-term absenteeism and moral hazard—Evidence from a natural experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 277-292.
    5. Anke SCHLIWEN & Alison EARLE & Jeff HAYES & S. Jody HEYMANN, 2011. "The administration and financing of paid sick leave," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 150(1-2), pages 43-62, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ahn, Thomas & Yelowitz, Aaron, 2016. "Paid Sick Leave and Absenteeism: The First Evidence from the U.S," MPRA Paper 69794, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. 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.
    3. Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "The pros and cons of sick pay schemes: Testing for contagious presenteeism and noncontagious absenteeism behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 14-33.
    4. Stefan Pichler & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2015. "The Pros and Cons of Sick Pay Schemes: Testing for Contagious Presenteeism and Shirking Behavior," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1509, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Ángel Martín-Román & Alfonso Moral, 2017. "A methodological proposal to evaluate the cost of duration moral hazard in workplace accident insurance," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(9), pages 1181-1198, December.
    6. 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).
    7. Kaitlin Piper & Ada Youk & A Everette James III & Supriya Kumar, 2017. "Paid sick days and stay-at-home behavior for influenza," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(2), pages 1-13, February.
    8. Stefan Pichler & Katherine Wen & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2021. "Positive Health Externalities of Mandating Paid Sick Leave," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 40(3), pages 715-743, June.
    9. Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2019. "Reprint of: The pros and cons of sick pay schemes: Testing for contagious presenteeism and noncontagious absenteeism behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 86-104.
    10. Carlo Alberto Biscardo & Alessandro Bucciol & Paolo Pertile, 2019. "Job sick leave: Detecting opportunistic behavior," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(3), pages 373-386, March.
    11. Atsuko Tanaka, "undated". "Who bears the cost of workers' health-related presenteeism and absenteeism," Working Papers 2016-31, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 10 May 2016.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender inequality; unpaid leave; low-income employees; presenteeism; medical leave; US; paid leave; sick leave;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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