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Sickness absence and unemployment revisited

Author

Listed:
  • Stefanie Thönnes

    (University of Paderborn)

  • Stefan Pichler

    (ETH Zürich)

Abstract

In this paper we use administrative data from a sickness fund to estimate the relationship between sickness absence and unemployment. Previous research suggests that sickness absence is procyclical. However, we show that this largely depends on disease and employee characteristics. In line with our theoretical analysis employee characteristics affect incentives faced by individuals. In particular, we find large differences depending on whether workers change jobs. While workers who stay with the same employer reduce sickness absence during recessions, while workers switching employers reduce sickness absence during booms. Finally, contagious diseases appear to be the driver of procyclical sickness absence.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefanie Thönnes & Stefan Pichler, 2019. "Sickness absence and unemployment revisited," Working Papers Dissertations 53, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pdn:dispap:53
    as

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    File URL: http://groups.uni-paderborn.de/wp-wiwi/RePEc/pdf/dispap/DP53.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sickness Absence; Unemployment; Infections;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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