Sickness Absence and Local Benefit Cultures

32 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2011

See all articles by Assar Lindbeck

Assar Lindbeck

; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Marten Palme

Stockholm University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mats Persson

Stockholm University; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Abstract

In many countries, sickness absence financed by generous insurance benefits has become an important concern in the policy debate. It turns out that there are strong variations in absence behavior between local geographical areas, and it has been difficult to explain these variations by observable socioeconomic factors. In this paper we investigate whether such variation is related to group effects in the form of social interaction among individuals within neighborhoods. Well-known methodological problems arise when trying to answer such a question. A special feature of our attempt to deal with these problems is that we adopt several alternative approaches to identify group effects. We base the study on a rich set of Swedish panel data, and we find indications of group effects in each one of our approaches.

Keywords: sick-pay insurance, work absence, moral hazard, reflection problem, social norms

JEL Classification: H56, I38, J22, Z13

Suggested Citation

Lindbeck, Assar and Palme, Marten and Persson, Mats, Sickness Absence and Local Benefit Cultures. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6245. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1977831

Assar Lindbeck (Contact Author)

( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden
+46 8 163 078 (Phone)
+46 8 162 946 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifn.se/assarl

Marten Palme

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10 A
House A, floor 4 and 7
Frescati, Stockholm
Sweden
+46163307 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Mats Persson

Stockholm University ( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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