Differences in Sick Leave Between Employed and Unemployed Workers. What Do They Tell Us About the Health Dimension of Unemployment?
Unemployed workers suffer from poor health conditions, a fact which is documented by a large number of studies covering objective health measures, satisfaction with health status and mortality. This paper contributes to the literature with an empirical analysis of sick leave micro-data from Austrian social insurance agencies. The data represent an interesting source of information because in Austria both employed and unemployed workers are entitled to sickness benefits and both groups are subject to almost identical sick pay regulations. Aggregate statistics show that the unemployed spend close to 9 percent of their time on sick leave, against an average of 3.4 percent for the employed. Further evidence indicates that they report much longer illness spells and a higher number of hospitalisations. Both selection and causation effects can help to understand this large gap in health outcomes. Workers who become unemployed had markedly higher absence rates in employment than fellow workers who stay in employment. This difference, which can be interpreted as an approximation for the selection effect, accounts for roughly half of the observed gap in sick leave rates between the employed and the unemployed. On the other hand there exists a positive albeit non-linear relationship between sick leave and unemployment duration, corroborating the view that unemployment impacts health negatively. In accordance with previous studies I find that the unemployed suffer very often from mental disorders. Although women have a higher incidence of mental disorders than men in both employment and unemployment, it is unemployed men who experience the sharpest increase in mental problems in the wake of unemployment.
|Date of creation:||11 Jun 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Arsenal Object 20, A-1030 Wien|
Phone: (+43 1) 798 26 01-0
Fax: (+43 1) 798 93 86
Web page: http://www.wifo.ac.at/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Göran Kauermann & Renate Ortlieb, 2004. "Temporal pattern in number of staff on sick leave: the effect of downsizing," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 53(2), pages 355-367.
- David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2006.
"Cash-on-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market,"
NBER Working Papers
12639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Cash-on-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1511-1560.
- Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002.
"Unemployment, labour force composition and sickness absence. A panel data study,"
Working Papers in Economics
05/02, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002. "Unemployment, labour force composition and sickness absence. A panel data study," Working paper Series 0205, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
- Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002. "Unemployment, Labour Force Composition and Sickness Absence: A Panel Data Study," IZA Discussion Papers 466, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Martin Browning & Anne Moller Dano & Eskil Heinesen, 2006. "Job displacement and stress-related health outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(10), pages 1061-1075.
- Del Bono, Emilia & Weber, Andrea, 2006.
"Do wages compensate for anticipated working time restrictions? Evidence from seasonal employment in Austria,"
ISER Working Paper Series
2006-37, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
- Emilia Del Bono & Andrea Weber, 2008. "Do Wages Compensate for Anticipated Working Time Restrictions? Evidence from Seasonal Employment in Austria," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 181-221.
- Del Bono, Emilia & Weber, Andrea, 2006. "Do Wages Compensate for Anticipated Working Time Restrictions? Evidence from Seasonal Employment in Austria," IZA Discussion Papers 2242, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Böckerman, Petri & Ilmakunnas, Pekka, 2007.
"Unemployment and self-assessed health: Evidence from panel data,"
1798, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Petri Böckerman & Pekka Ilmakunnas, 2009. "Unemployment and self-assessed health: evidence from panel data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 161-179.
- Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2002.
"Benefit Entitlement and Unemployment Duration: The Role of Policy Endogeneity,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3363, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Lalive, Rafael & Zweimuller, Josef, 2004. "Benefit entitlement and unemployment duration: The role of policy endogeneity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2587-2616, December.
- Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimï¿½ller, . "Benefit Entitlement and Unemployment Duration - The Role of Policy Endogeneity," IEW - Working Papers 112, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2002. "Benefit Entitlement and Unemployment Duration: The Role of Policy Endogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 492, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Laura Romeu Gordo, 2006. "Effects of short- and long-term unemployment on health satisfaction: evidence from German data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(20), pages 2335-2350.
- Arai, Mahmood & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2001.
"Incentives and Selection in Cyclical Absenteeism,"
Working Paper Series
167, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
- Andrew E. Clark, 2006.
"A note on unhappiness and unemployment duration,"
PSE Working Papers
- Andrew E. Clark, 2006. "A Note on Unhappiness and Unemployment Duration," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 52(4), pages 291-308.
- Barmby, Tim & Sessions, John G & Treble, John G, 1994. " Absenteeism, Efficiency Wages and Shirking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 561-66.
- Josef Zweimï¿½ller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Bï¿½chi, 2009.
"Austrian social security database,"
IEW - Working Papers
410, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian Social Security Database," NRN working papers 2009-03, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
- Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus, 2003. "A note on the effect of unemployment on mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 505-518, May.
- Daniel Sullivan & Till von Wachter, 2009. "Job Displacement and Mortality: An Analysis Using Administrative Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1265-1306.
- Martin Salm, 2009.
"Does job loss cause ill health?,"
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(9), pages 1075-1089.
- Anthony H. Winefield, 2002. "Unemployment, Underemployment, Occupational Stress and Psychological Well-Being," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 27(1_suppl), pages 137-148, June.
- Audas, Rick & Goddard, John, 2001. "Absenteeism, seasonality, and the business cycle," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 405-419.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2010:i:372. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ilse Schulz)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.