The Case for Presenteeism - Evidence from Norway’s Sickness Insurance Program

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Markussen, Simen, Arnstein Mykletun, Knut Røed




Journal of Public Economics

Vol 96(11-12), 959-972

Sammendrag (engelsk)

Can a work-first strategy control moral hazard problems in temporary disability insurance, and accelerate recovery? Based on empirical analysis of Norwegian data, we show that it can. Activation requirements not only bring down benefit claims, they also reduce the likelihood that long-term sickness absence leads to inactivity. Our findings show that absentees who are assigned graded (partial) absence certificates by their physician have shorter absences and higher subsequent employment rates than they would have had on regular sick leave. We con-clude that the activation strategies that in recent years have permeated European and US wel-fare policy may fruitfully be carried over to sick leave insurance for temporary disabled workers.


absenteeism, disability, activation, workfare


C26, I18, I38, J48

Prosjekt info:

Oppdragsgiver: Norges forskningsråd
Oppdragsgivers prosjektnr.: 185201
Frisch prosjekt: 1181 - Virkninger av en aktivitetsorientert velferdspolitikk