The Changing of the Guards - Can Family Doctors Contain Worker Absenteeism?
By: Simen Markussen, with Elisabeth Fevang and Knut Røed
Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 32 (2013), No. 6, 1230–1239
Using administrative data from Norway, we examine the extent to which family doctors influence their clients’ propensity to claim sick-pay. The analysis exploits exogenous switches of family doctors occurring when physicians quit, retire, or for other reasons sell their patient lists. We find that Family doctors have significant influence on their clients’ absence behavior, particularly on absence duration. Their influence is stronger in geographical areas with weaker competition between physicians. We conclude that it is possible for family doctors to contain sick-pay expenditures to some extent, and that there is a considerable variation in the way they perform this task.