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Who should monitor job sick leave?

Author

Listed:
  • Carlo Alberto Biscardo

    () (INPS, Verona)

  • Alessandro Bucciol

    () (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

  • Paolo Pertile

    () (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo Alberto Biscardo & Alessandro Bucciol & Paolo Pertile, 2015. "Who should monitor job sick leave?," Working Papers 18/2015, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:18/2015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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).
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
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    10. Olsson, Martin, 2009. "Employment protection and sickness absence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 208-214, April.
    11. 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.
    12. René Böheim & Thomas Leoni, 2014. "Firms' Sickness Costs and Workers' Sickness Absences," NBER Working Papers 20305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sick leave insurance; moral hazard; absenteeism; work ability;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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