Downsizing and sickness absence


Downsizing and sickness absence

Ståle Østhus and Arne Mastekaasa, ISS. The University of Oslo

Full text PDF

It is generally assumed that organizational downsizing has considerable negative consequences, not

only for workers that are laid off, but also for those who remain employed. The empirical evidence
with regard to effects on sickness absence is, however, inconsistent. This study employs register data
covering a major part of the total workforce in Norway over the period 2000 to 2003. Number of
sickness absence episodes and number of sickness absence days are both analyzed by means of
Poisson regression. To control for both observed and unobserved stable individual characteristics,
conditional (fixed effects) estimation is employed. The analyses provide some weak indications that
downsizing may lead to slightly less sickness absence, but the overall impression is that downsizing
has few if any effects on the sickness absence of the remaining employees.
Key words: Downsizing, upsizing, sickness absence, fixed effects, conditional Poisson regression
By Matthew Rix Whiting
Published Oct. 10, 2010 11:19 AM - Last modified Oct. 15, 2010 8:39 AM