Poisson Models with Employer-Employee Unobserved Heterogeneity: An Application to Absence Data
25 Pages Posted: 25 May 2007
Date Written: April 2007
We propose a parametric model based on the Poisson distribution that permits to take into account both unobserved worker and workplace heterogeneity as long as both effects are nested. By assuming that workplace and worker unobserved heterogeneity components follow a gamma and a Dirichlet distribution respectively, we obtain a closed form for the unconditional density function. We estimate the model to obtain the determinants of absenteeism using linked employer-employee Canadian data from the Workplace and Employee Survey (2003). Coefficient estimates are interpreted in the framework of the typical labor-leisure model. We show that omitting unobserved heterogeneity on either side of the employment relationship leads to notable biases in the estimated coefficients. In particular, the impact of wages on absences is underestimated in simpler models.
Keywords: Absenteeism, Linked Employer-Employee Data, Employer-Employee Unobserved Heterogeneity, Count Data Models, Dirichlet Distribution
JEL Classification: J22, J29, C23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation