The Anatomy of Absenteeism

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Markussen, S., K. Røed, O. Røgeberg and S. Gaure




Journal of Health Economics

Vol 30(2), 277-292

Sammendrag (engelsk)

Based on comprehensive administrative register data from Norway, we examine the de-terminants of sickness absence behavior; in terms of employee characteristics, workplace characteristics, panel doctor characteristics, and economic conditions. The analysis is based on a novel concept of a worker’s steady state sickness absence propensity, computed from a multivariate hazard rate model designed to predict the incidence and duration of sickness absence for all workers. Key conclusions are that i) most of the cross-sectional variation in absenteeism is caused by genuine employee heterogeneity; ii) the identity of a person’s panel doctor has a significant impact on absence propensity; iii) sickness absence insurance is frequently certified for reasons other than sickness; and iv) the recovery rate rises enormously just prior to the exhaustion of sickness insurance benefits.


Sickness absence, multivariate hazards, MMPH, NPMLE


C14, C41, H55, I18, J22

Prosjekt info:

Oppdragsgiver: Norges forskningsråd
Oppdragsgivers prosjektnr.:
Frisch prosjekt: 1134 - En levedyktig velferdsstat




Norwegian Research Council and partially funded by the Health Economics Research Programme at the University of Oslo - HERO