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The economics of sickness absence: social interactions, local cultures and working conditions
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The focus of this thesis is the study of social and psychosocial aspects of sickness absence. In Essay 1, Sickness Absence and Peer Effects Evidence from a Swedish Municipality, detailed employment records from a Swedish public employer are used to investigate whether sick leave among work group colleagues influences individual sick leave. Our results indicate that a worker’s level of sick leave is positively correlated with sick leave among peers. When length of employment is taken into account, however, we find that this positive peer effect emerges initially after the first few years of employment. In Essay 2, Who Cares about the Colleagues? – Insights into Peer Effect Heterogeneities in Sickness Absence across Gender and Age, I scrutinize the data used in Essay 1 to further investigate the nature of peer effects in sickness absence in relation to gender and age. The results indicate that men, as well as women, are sensitive to their female colleagues but not to their male peers. Moreover, somewhat surprisingly, I find that young and middle-aged workers are sensitive to younger peers, whereas the oldest workers are not sensitive to any of their peers. Essay 3, Sickness Absence and Local Culture, investigates the effect of geographical and presumed cultural context on sickness absence. Our results indicate that the region of residence is important to individual ‘illness-related absence’. In Essay 4, Sickness Absence, Working Conditions and Gender – An Empirical Analysis using Multiltvel Models, I analyse how psychosocial working conditions are related to short- and longterm sick leave and if, and how, these relation-ships vary with gender. The results show that employees who enjoy higher levels of autonomy in their post take fewer periods of short-term sick leave, and that this effect is significantly greater for male workers. The results also show that for female workers, stronger work-group cohesion is related to a lower likelihood of long-term sick leave. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university , 2014. , p. 33
Series
Örebro Studies in Economics, ISSN 1651-8896 ; 26
Keywords [en]
Peer effect, absence, sickness absence, social norms, gender, age, municipality, domestic migration, working conditions
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35378ISBN: 978-91-7529-040-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-35378DiVA, id: diva2:725710
Public defence
2014-10-03, Forumhuset, Biografen, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-06-17 Created: 2014-06-17 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Ekblad, Kristin

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CiteExportLink to record
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