How physicians can reduce sick leave - evidence from a natural experiment
A Norwegian reform was launched on July 1st 2004, changing regulations for sick-leave certification by primary care physicians, and coincided with a drop in the sick-leave rate of more than 20 percent. Using individual sick-leave records matched with data covering primary care physicians, this paper evaluates this reform and concludes that it reduced sick leave by 23 percent. The drop in sick leave is decomposed and linked to the various reform elements. Measures targeted at physicians and aimed at reducing sick leave may be cost-effective and – as opposed to reductions in workers’ replacement rates – politically easy to implement.
H53, I18, J28
Labor market policies, sick leave, physicians’ gatekeeping
Prosjekt:1134 - En levedyktig velferdsstat
4132 - Sykefravær i Norge - Årsaker, konsekvenser og politikkimplikasjoner