Working Paper No. 725

Social Interaction and Sickness Absence

Published: December 17, 2007Pages: 28Keywords: Sick-pay Insurance; Work Absence; Moral Hazard; Social NormsJEL-codes: H56; I38; J22; Z13

Social Interaction and Sickness Absence Assar Lindbeck, Mårten Palme and Mats Persson


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.



Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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