Working Paper Series
Social Interaction and Sickness Absence
(), Mårten Palme
() and Mats Persson
Abstract: Does the average level of sickness absence in a
neighborhood affect individual sickness absence through social interaction
on the neighborhood level? To answer this question, we consider evidence of
local benefit-dependency cultures. Well-known methodological problems in
this type of analysis include avoiding the so-called reflection problem and
disentangling the causal effects of group behavior on individual behavior
from the effects of individual sorting on neighborhoods. Based on data from
Sweden, we adopt several different approaches to deal with these problems.
The results are robust in the sense that regardless of approach and
identifying assumptions, we obtain statistically significant estimates
indicating group effects.
Keywords: Sick-pay Insurance; Work Absence; Moral Hazard; Social Norms; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: H56; I38; J22; Z13; (follow links to similar papers)
28 pages, December 17, 2007
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