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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Elgar Companion to

Social Capital and Health

Martin Ljunge okt 2018.jpg

Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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