IZA DP No. 5091: The Rise in Absenteeism: Disentangling the Impacts of Cohort, Age and Time
published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2013, 26 (4), 1585-1608
We examine the remarkable rise in absenteeism among Norwegian employees since the early 1990's, with particular emphasis on disentangling the roles of cohort, age, and time. Based on a fixed effects model, we show that individual age-adjusted absence propensities have risen even more than aggregate absence rates from 1993 to 2005, debunking the popular hypothesis that the rise in absenteeism resulted from the inclusion of new cohorts – with weaker work-norms – into the workforce. We also reject the idea that the rise in absenteeism resulted from more successful integration of workers with poor health; on the contrary, a massive rise in disability rolls during the 1990’s suggest that poor-health workers have left the labor market in unprecedented numbers.