The Rise in Absenteeism: Disentangling the Impacts of Cohort, Age and Time

By Erik Biørn, Simen Gaure, Simen Markussen and Knut Røed

Published in:

Journal of Population Economics, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp. 1585-1608, October 2013



In recent years, a number of welfare state economies, including Norway, have experienced substantial increases in sickness absence. Using longitudinal individual register data for virtually all Norwegian employees, we examine the remarkable rise since the early 1990s, with emphasis on disentangling the roles of cohort, age, and time. We show that individual age-adjusted absence propensities have risen even more than aggregate absence rates from 1993 to 2005, which casts doubt on the popular hypotheses that the rise was due to the inclusion into the workforce of young or marginal workers with weaker work-norms or poorer health.

DOI: 10.1007/s00148-012-0403-2

Published Sep. 19, 2013 2:20 PM - Last modified June 25, 2014 11:54 AM