About the project
The Norwegian sickness insurance scheme stands out internationally by generous compensation levels and large numbers of individuals who receive benefits (OECD 2010).
General practitioners (GPs) are given an important role as gatekeepers through the certification of sickness absence.
Our primary objectives are 1) to perform causal analyses on variation in sick listing practices among Norwegian GPs, and 2) to perform causal analyses on the consequences of sickness absence for individuals.
The identification of causal effects is challenging. Patients are entitled to select their GPs based on terms and circumstances that the researchers do not fully observe. The key to our proposed research project is to use random variation in GPs sick-listing practices across emergency centers. As the arrival of patients to emergency centers is random and not based on a selective matching process of patients with GPs, differences in sick-listing will reflect actual practice ariation and not simply variation in the composition of patients. Further we can then study the effects of sick leave on various outcomes, such as labor market participation, future sickness absences and health by comparing similar individuals randomly allocated to GPs with different sick listing practices.
Funding source: The Norwegian Research Council