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Department of Economics, Stockholm University Research Papers in Economics, Department of Economics, Stockholm University

No 2009:4:
Social Interaction and Sickness Absence

Assar Lindbeck (), Mårten Palme () and Mats Persson ()

Abstract: Is the sickness absence of an individual affected by the sickness absence behavior of the neighbors? Well-known methodological problems, in particular the so-called reflection problem, arise when trying to answer such questions about group effects. Based on data from Sweden, we adopt several different approaches to solve these problems. Regardless of the approach chosen, we obtain statistically significant estimates indicating that group effects are important for individual sickness absence behavior.

Keywords: Sick-pay insurance; work absence; moral hazard; reflection problem; social norms; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: H56; I38; J22; Z13; (follow links to similar papers)

34 pages, January 30, 2009

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