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

Erik Biørn, Simen Gaure, Simen Markussen and Knut Røed


Published in Journal of Population Economics
October 2013, volume 26, pp. 1585-1608

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, wh ich 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.

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Published Aug. 6, 2013 2:20 PM