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Worker Absenteeism and Incentives: Evidence from Italy

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  • Scoppa, Vincenzo

Abstract

In Italy employees are fully insured against earning losses due to illness. Since worker’s health is not easily verifiable, absenteeism due to illness is considered an empirical proxy for employee shirking. The Bank of Italy Household Survey (SHIW) provides individual data on days of absence. Controlling for personal characteristics and potential determinants of health status and family responsibilities (age, gender, education, marital status, children at home) we show that the nature of employment contracts affects workers’ incentives to provide effort: sickness absences, at least partially, hide opportunistic behaviours. The type of occupation and the labour contracts affects workers’ behaviour in that more protected and difficult to monitor jobs show significantly higher levels of absenteeism: employees in public sector or in large firms, with permanent contracts or with longer tenure, individuals living in regions with low unemployment rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2008. "Worker Absenteeism and Incentives: Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 16858, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16858
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Maggi, 2000. "Work Environment and Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials in a Large Italian Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1057-1090.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Vincenzo Scoppa & Daniela Vuri, 2014. "Absenteeism, unemployment and employment protection legislation: evidence from Italy," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-25, December.
    2. De Luca, Giuliana & Ponzo, Michela, 2009. "Primary care utilisation and workers’ opportunity costs. Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 24201, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Cristini, Annalisa & Origo, Federica & Pinoli, Sara, 2017. "The healthy fright of losing a good one for a bad one," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 129-144.
    4. Flavia Coda Moscarola & Elsa Fornero & Steinar Strøm, 2016. "Absenteeism, childcare and the effectiveness of pension reforms," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, December.
    5. Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2009. "Performance Pay as an Incentive for Lower Absence Rates in Britain," MPRA Paper 18238, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Absenteeism; Shirking; Incentives; Labour Contracts; Insurance Contracts;

    JEL classification:

    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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