Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2008:18: Do interactions between unemployment insurance and sickness insurance affect transitions to employment?

Caroline Hall ()
Additional contact information
Caroline Hall: IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation, Postal: P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: Previous research suggests that there are substantial interactions between the unemployment insurance (UI) and the sickness insurance (SI) in Sweden. Moral hazard arises in the interplay between these two social insurance systems, since by reporting sick an unemployed person can postpone the UI expiration date and sometimes also receive considerably higher benefits. This paper examines whether these interactions affect the transition rate from unemployment to employment. To study this question I utilize a reform which greatly reduced the incentives for unemployed persons to transfer to the SI. While there is evidence that this reform substantially lowered the incidence of sick reports among the unemployed, I find no evidence suggesting that the reduced sick report rate in turn affected the transition rate to employment

Keywords: Unemployment insurance; sickness insurance; unemployment duration; health; duration analysis

JEL-codes: C41; H55; I18; J64; J65

37 pages, September 3, 2008

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