Disentangling absence patterns

Project managerSimen Markussen
ClientNorges forskningsråd
Client project no.227103
ParticipantsRandi Borgen
Bernt Bratsberg
Sara Cools
Elisabeth Fevang
Simen Gaure
Ingrid M.S. Huitfeldt
Knut Røed
Ole Røgeberg
Ragnhild Camilla Schreiner
Marte Strøm
Marte Eline Ulvestad
Monique de Haan
Period1.11.2013 - 31.12.2017

Project description

This project will contribute to and partly extend the scientific literature on sickness absence. It is an extension, as well as a continuation, of ongoing research at the Frisch Centre using administrative data for Norway. The project will also finance a Phd-student. It has four topics:

1) Health and absenteeism: Recent research has found the use of graded sick leave to reduce sick leave duration as well as strengthen subsequent labour force attachment. We will extend this literature by bringing forward more specific knowledge by letting the effect of sick leave occurrence (yes/no) and type (duration and grading) be made conditional on health. If successful, this may improve official guidelines for sick-leave prescription.

2) Disability across generations: Disability is strongly correlated across generations. This possibly puts a bound on the effect of current policies, as disability seem partly predetermined by social or biological inheritance. We will extend the large literature on intergenerational persistence in earnings and education by (i) carefully try to disentangle and quantify the causal mechanisms creating such correlation across generations, and (ii) evaluate policies which may break or weaken the intergenerational link.

3) The role of employers and workplaces: Arguably, the workplace is the most important arena for determining sickness absence. Yet, the mechanisms behind the variation in absenteeism between firms are not well understood. Using a rich and extensive employer-employee dataset we will search to understand why some firms have much higher sick leave rates than others. In particular we will investigate the role of selection/matching, workplace characteristics and leadership.

4) The gender gap in absenteeism: There is a substantial and partly unexplained gender gap in absenteeism. We will test whether this gap can be explained by caretaking for children, statistical discrimination or biological sex-differences in health or risk preferences.


Scientific Journal

Ulvestad, Marte E.S., Simen MarkussenBorn or bred? The roles of nature and nurture for intergenerational persistence in labour market outcomes2022Journal of Population Economics Online[DOI]
Markussen, Simen and Marte StrømChildren and labor market outcomes: separating the effects of the first three children2020Journal of Population Economics [PDF] [DOI]
Markussen, Simen, Knut Røed, Ragnhild C. SchreinerCan compulsory dialogs nudge sick-listed workers back to work?2018Economic Journal 128(610), 1276-1303[DOI]
Cools, Sara, Simen Markussen and Marte StrømChildren and Careers: How Family Size Affects Parents’ Labor Market Outcomes in the Long Run2017Demography Vol 54(5), 1773-1793[PDF] [DOI]
Markussen, Simen and Knut RøedThe market for paid sick leave2017Journal of Health Economics [PDF] [DOI]
Bratsberg, Bernt and Ole RøgebergChildhood socioeconomic status does not explain the IQ-mortality gradient2017Intelligence [PDF] [DOI]
Hauge, Karen Evelyn and Marte Eline UlvestadHaving a bad attitude? The relationship between attitudes and sickness absence2017IZA Journal of Labor Policy 6(1), 1-27[PDF] [DOI]


This series is published by the Department of Economics, University of Oslo, in cooperation with the Frisch Centre. The list below only contains those memoranda written in connection with projects at the Frisch Centre. A complete list of memoranda is found at http://urn.nb.no/URN:NBN:no-7118

Markussen, Simen og Marte StrømThe effects of motherhood2015No. 19[PDF]

Other journals

Fevang, ElisabethHelserelaterte ytelser og skjult arbeidsledighet – en diskusjon om mulige sammenhenger2020Søkelys på arbeidslivet Vol 37(3), 201-215[PDF] [DOI]
Markussen, Simen og Knut RøedEn ny og smartere sykelønnsordning?2018Samfunnsøkonomen Nr 1, 13-22[PDF]
Markussen, Simen, Marte E. Ulvestad, Oddbjørn Raaum, Karen E. HaugeKan kjønnsforskjellen i sykefravær forklares av holdninger, normer og preferanser?2015Søkelys på arbeidslivet Årgang 32 Nr 4 2015 s298[PDF]
Markussen, Simen, Marte Strøm, Sara CoolsMenns og kvinners sykefravær: Hvilken rolle spiller antall barn?2015Søkelys på arbeidslivet Nr 4, 325-343[PDF]

Other publications

Fevang, ElisabethEconomic Incentives, Employment and Health2019Doktorgradsavhandling, Universitetet i Bergen.[PDF]