How are Work-Related Characteristics Linked to Sickness Absence and Presenteeism? – Theory and Data
37 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2015
Date Written: October 2015
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 work-related factors affect presenteeism through these two channels, non-substitutive 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.
Keywords: Sickness absence, presenteeism, annual duration, work-related characteristics, health at work
JEL Classification: 22, J28, I1, M50
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