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How are work-related characteristics linked to sickness absence and presenteeism? Theory and data

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  • Arnold, Daniel
  • De Pinto, Marco

Abstract

This paper investigates how changes in work-related factors affect workers' absence and presenteeism behavior. Previous studies (implicitly) assume that there is a substitutive relationship, i.e. a change in a work-related factor decreases the level of absence and simultaneously increases presenteeism (or vice versa). We set up a theoretical model in which work-related characteristics not only affect a worker's absence decision but also the individual-specific sickness definition. Since workrelated factors affect presenteeism through these two channels, nonsubstitutive relationships between absence and presenteeism are also conceivable. Using European cross-sectional data, we find only few substitutive and complementary relationships, while the bulk of the work-related characteristics is related only to one of the two sickness states.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnold, Daniel & De Pinto, Marco, 2015. "How are work-related characteristics linked to sickness absence and presenteeism? Theory and data," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-077, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:15077
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Riphahn, Regina T., 2004. "Employment protection and effort among German employees," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 353-357, December.
    2. Ziebarth, Nicolas R. & Karlsson, Martin, 2010. "A natural experiment on sick pay cuts, sickness absence, and labor costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 1108-1122, December.
    3. Lusine Lusinyan & Leo Bonato, 2007. "Work Absence in Europe," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(3), pages 475-538, July.
    4. Mark V. Pauly & Sean Nicholson & Judy Xu & Dan Polsky & Patricia M. Danzon & James F. Murray & Marc L. Berger, 2002. "A general model of the impact of absenteeism on employers and employees," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(3), pages 221-231.
    5. Boris HirschBy & Daniel S. J. Lechmann & Claus Schnabel, 2017. "Coming to work while sick: an economic theory of presenteeism with an application to German data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 1010-1031.
    6. Ilias Livanos & Alexandros Zangelidis, 2013. "Unemployment, Labor Market Flexibility, and Absenteeism: A Pan-European Study," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 492-515, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boris HirschBy & Daniel S. J. Lechmann & Claus Schnabel, 2017. "Coming to work while sick: an economic theory of presenteeism with an application to German data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 1010-1031.
    2. Bubonya, Melisa & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Wooden, Mark, 2017. "Mental health and productivity at work: Does what you do matter?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 150-165.
    3. Prümer, Stephanie & Schnabel, Claus, 2019. "Questioning the stereotype of the "malingering bureaucrat" absence from work in the public and private sector in Germany," Discussion Papers 108, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sickness absence; presenteeism; annual duration; workrelated characteristics; health at work;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General

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