Sickness absence and working life conditions

Project Department: Uni Research Rokkan Centre (group: Health and Welfare ) period: 01.09.14 - 31.08.18

About the project

This project responds to the need for knowledge about the causal effect of workplace conditions and interventions, focusing on two aspects of such conditions. First, on the effects of policies to improve working conditions of older workers (reduced workload and extended holidays) on labour supply, sickness absence and disability retirement, as well as doctor visits. Second, the project addresses how job insecurity affects sickness absence and disability retirement in the longer run. This research will explicitly consider the discipline and composition hypotheses. Methodologically, we aim to establish causation by exploiting exogenous variation. In the first part, we use reforms that affected older worker differently according to their date of birth, thus they were randomly assigned. In the second, we use an unexpected financial shock that affected a group of Norwegian municipalities, but not others. By using natural experiments we avoid the selection issues that are typically a concern in the literature on sickness absence and work place factors. The analyses will be done using individual-level administrative register data covering the whole population, with information on sickness absence, health care use and labour market history, from HELFO and the FD-Trygd database.

Funding source: The Norwegian Research Council

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