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.



Assar Lindbeck

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Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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