The Effect of the 2009 Influenza Pandemic on Absence from Work

39 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2017

See all articles by Fabian Duarte

Fabian Duarte

University of Chile - Department of Economics

Srikanth Kadiyala

RAND Corporation

Samuel Masters

Department of Health Policy and Management

David Powell

RAND Corporation

Date Written: December 10, 2016

Abstract

In July 2009, the WHO declared the first flu pandemic in nearly 40 years. Although the health effects of the pandemic have been studied, there is little research examining the labor productivity consequences. Using unique sick leave data from the Chilean private health insurance system, we estimate the effect of the pandemic on missed days of work. We estimate that the pandemic increased mean flu days missed by 0.042 days per person-month during the 2009 peak winter months (June and July), representing an 800% increase in missed days relative to the sample mean. Calculations using the estimated effect imply a minimum 0.2% reduction in Chile's labor supply.

Suggested Citation

Duarte, Fabian and Kadiyala, Srikanth and Masters, Samuel and Powell, David, The Effect of the 2009 Influenza Pandemic on Absence from Work (December 10, 2016). RAND Working Paper Series WR- 1176. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2897174 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2897174

Fabian Duarte (Contact Author)

University of Chile - Department of Economics ( email )

Diagonal Paraguay 257
Torre 26, Of. 1801
Santiago
Chile
56229783428 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.uchile.cl/es/academico/fabduarte

Srikanth Kadiyala

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Samuel Masters

Department of Health Policy and Management ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

David Powell

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

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