Unemployment, Labour Force Composition and Sickness Absence: A Panel Data Study

27 Pages Posted: 1 May 2002

See all articles by Jan Erik Askildsen

Jan Erik Askildsen

University of Bergen - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Espen Bratberg

University of Bergen - Department of Economics

Øivind Anti Nilsen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute

Date Written: April 2002

Abstract

Sickness absence tends to be negatively correlated with unemployment. This may suggest disciplining effects of unemployment but may also reflect changes in the composition of the labor force. A panel of Norwegian register data for the years 1990-1995 is used to analyze sickness absences lasting more than two weeks. We estimate fixed effects models of the probability of absence and the number of days on sick leave conditional on absence. The county unemployment rate is found to affect the probability of absence negatively. When restricting the sample to workers who are present in the whole sample period, the negative relationship between absence and unemployment remains. The evidence on duration goes in the same direction. This indicates that the revealed procyclical variation in sickness absence is not driven by changes in the composition of the labor force.

Keywords: Sickness Absence, Unemployment, Panel Data

JEL Classification: H55, J22, J28, J32

Suggested Citation

Askildsen, Jan Erik and Bratberg, Espen and Nilsen, Oivind Anti, Unemployment, Labour Force Composition and Sickness Absence: A Panel Data Study (April 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=310074 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.310074

Jan Erik Askildsen

University of Bergen - Department of Economics ( email )

Fosswinckelsgt. 6
N-5007 Bergen, 5007
Norway
(+47)55589218 (Phone)
(+47)55589210 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Espen Bratberg (Contact Author)

University of Bergen - Department of Economics ( email )

Fosswinckelsgt. 6
N-5007 Bergen, 5007
Norway

Oivind Anti Nilsen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5045 Bergen
Norway

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

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