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Who should monitor job sick leave?

Listed author(s):
  • Carlo Alberto Biscardo

    ()

    (INPS, Verona)

  • Alessandro Bucciol

    ()

    (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

  • Paolo Pertile

    ()

    (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

We use a large and unique administrative dataset from Italy, covering the period 2009-2014, to investigate opportunistic behavior (moral hazard) and the effectiveness of monitoring policies related to insurance against illness-related income losses. The analysis is based on the outcome of mandatory medical visits aimed at verifying the health status of employees during sickness spells. We find that employers are more effective than the public insurer in selecting sickness episodes to monitor. However, a reduction in the number and a better targeting of visits with the support of appropriate statistical tools may close the gap. We discuss the impact of using direct measures of health, such as the outcome of a medical visit, on the study of the determinants of opportunistic behavior and argue that simply looking at days of work lost, without appropriately controlling for health status, may lead to misleading conclusions if the goal is studying moral hazard.

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Paper provided by University of Verona, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 18/2015.

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Date of creation: Apr 2015
Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:18/2015
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  1. Nicolas R. Ziebarth & Martin Karlsson, 2014. "The Effects Of Expanding The Generosity Of The Statutory Sickness Insurance System," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 208-230, March.
  2. Olsson, Martin, 2009. "Employment protection and sickness absence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 208-214, April.
  3. Jan Erik Askildsen & Espen Bratberg & Øivind Anti Nilsen, 2005. "Unemployment, labor force composition and sickness absence: a panel data study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(11), pages 1087-1101.
  4. Mark V. Pauly & Sean Nicholson & Daniel Polsky & Marc L. Berger & Claire Sharda, 2008. "Valuing reductions in on-the-job illness: 'presenteeism' from managerial and economic perspectives," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(4), pages 469-485.
  5. Tim A. Barmby & Marco G. Ercolani & John G. Treble, 2002. "Sickness Absence: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages 315-331, June.
  6. Jahangir Khan & Clas Rehnberg, 2009. "Perceived job security and sickness absence: a study on moral hazard," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 10(4), pages 421-428, October.
  7. René Böheim & Thomas Leoni, 2014. "Firms' Sickness Costs and Workers' Sickness Absences," NBER Working Papers 20305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Per Engström & Per Johansson, 2012. "The medical doctors as gatekeepers in the sickness insurance?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(28), pages 3615-3625, October.
  9. Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2015. "The Pros and Cons of Sick Pay Schemes: A Method to Test for Contagious Presenteeism and Shirking Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 8850, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Stefan Pichler, 2015. "Sickness Absence, Moral Hazard, and the Business Cycle," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 692-710, June.
  11. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa & Valeria Pupo, 2014. "Absenteeism in the Italian Public Sector: The Effects of Changes in Sick Leave Policy," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 337-360.
  12. Hartman, Laura & Hesselius, Patrik & Johansson, Per, 2013. "Effects of eligibility screening in the sickness insurance: Evidence from a field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 48-56.
  13. Weiss, Andrew, 1985. "Absenteeism and wages," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 277-279.
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