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Sick Pay Provision in Experimental Labor Markets

  • Dürsch, Peter

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Heidelberg)

  • Oechssler, Jörg

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Heidelberg)

  • Vadovic, Radovan

    ()

    (ITAM)

Sick pay is a common provision in most labor contracts. This paper employs an experimental gift-exchange environment to explore two related questions using both managers and undergraduates as subjects. First, do workers reciprocate sick pay in the same way as they reciprocate wage payments? Second, do firms benefit from offering sick pay? Firms may benefit in two different ways: directly, from workers reciprocating higher sick pay with higher efforts; and indirectly, from self-selection of reciprocal workers into contracts with higher sick pay. Our main finding is that the direct effect is rather weak in terms of effort and negative in terms of profits. However, when there is competition among firms for workers, sick pay can become an important advantage. Consequently, competition leads to a higher provision of sick pay relative to a monopsonistic labor market.

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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 08-14.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 08 Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:08-14
Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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  2. Hennig-Schmidt, Heike & Rockenbach, Bettina & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim, 2008. "In Search of Workers' Real Effort Reciprocity - A Field and a Laboratory Experiment," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 238, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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  15. Stefan Bauernschuster & Jörg Oechssler & Peter Duersch & Radovan Vadovic, 2009. "Mandatory Sick Pay Provision: A Labor Market Experiment," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-076, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
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