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Mandatory Sick Pay Provision: A Labor Market Experiment

  • Stefan Bauernschuster

    (University of Jena)

  • Jörg Oechssler

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Heidelberg, Germany)

  • Peter Duersch

    (University of Heidelberg)

  • Radovan Vadovic

    (ITAM, Mexico City)

The question whether a minimum rate of sick pay should be mandated is much debated. We study the effects of this kind of intervention in an experimental labor market that is rich enough to allow for moral hazard, adverse selection, and crowding out of good intentions to occur. We find that higher sick pay is reciprocated by workers through higher effort but only if sick pay is not mandated. We also study adverse selection effects when workers have different probabilities of getting sick and can reject the hypothesis that this leads to market breakdown. Overall, we find that mandating sick pay actually leads to a higher voluntary provision of sick pay by ?rms.

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Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2009-076.

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Date of creation: 25 Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2009-076
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  1. Ernst Fehr & Alexander Klein & Klaus M Schmidt, 2007. "Fairness and Contract Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 121-154, 01.
  2. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 268-298, May.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
  4. Dirk Engelmann & Dorothea Kübler, 2008. "Do Legal Standards Affect Ethical Concerns of Consumers?," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-008, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  5. Henrekson, Magnus & Persson, Mats, 2001. "The Effects on Sick Leave of Changes in the Sickness Insurance System," Seminar Papers 697, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  6. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  7. Owens, Mark F. & Kagel, John H., 2010. "Minimum wage restrictions and employee effort in incomplete labor markets: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 317-326, March.
  8. Dürsch, Peter & Oechssler, Jörg & Vadovic, Radovan, 2008. "Sick Pay Provision in Experimental Labor Markets," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-14, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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  12. McCabe, Kevin A. & Rigdon, Mary L. & Smith, Vernon L., 2003. "Positive reciprocity and intentions in trust games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 267-275, October.
  13. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, George & Riedl, Arno, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-59, May.
  14. Charness, Gary & Frechette, Guillaume R & Kagel, John H, 2002. "How Robust is Laboratory Gift Exchange?," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt8qq4k3ph, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  15. Jody Heymann & Hye Jin Rho & John Schmitt & Alison Earle, 2009. "Contagion Nation: A Comparison of Paid Sick Day Policies in 22 Countries," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2009-19, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  16. Fehr, Ernst, et al, 1998. "When Social Norms Overpower Competition: Gift Exchange in Experimental Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 324-51, April.
  17. Tim A. Barmby & Marco G. Ercolani & John G. Treble, 2002. "Sickness Absence: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F315-F331, June.
  18. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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