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The Effect of the 2009 Influenza Pandemic on Absence from Work

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  • Fabian Duarte
  • Srikanth Kadiyala
  • Samuel H. Masters
  • David Powell

Abstract

In July 2009, the WHO declared the first flu pandemic in nearly 40 years. Although the health effects of the pandemic have been studied, there is little research examining the labor productivity consequences. Using unique sick leave data from the Chilean private health insurance system, we estimate the effect of the pandemic on missed days of work. We estimate that the pandemic increased mean flu days missed by 0.042 days per person-month during the 2009 peak winter months (June and July), representing an 800% increase in missed days relative to the sample mean. Calculations using the estimated effect imply a minimum 0.2% reduction in Chile's labor supply.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabian Duarte & Srikanth Kadiyala & Samuel H. Masters & David Powell, 2017. "The Effect of the 2009 Influenza Pandemic on Absence from Work," Working Papers WR-1176, RAND Corporation.
  • Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:wr-1176
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    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Policy responses > Behavioral

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    Cited by:

    1. Slusky, David J.G. & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2021. "Sunlight and Protection Against Influenza," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C).
    2. Fraser Summerfield & Livio Di Matteo, 2021. "Influenza Pandemics and Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Recent Economic History," Working Papers 210002, Canadian Centre for Health Economics.
    3. Corey White, 2018. "Measuring the Social and Externality Benefits of Influenza Vaccination," Working Papers 1803, California Polytechnic State University, Department of Economics.
    4. Alipour, Jean-Victor & Fadinger, Harald & Schymik, Jan, 2021. "My home is my castle – The benefits of working from home during a pandemic crisis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).

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