Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Paid Sick Leave and Absenteeism: The First Evidence from the U.S.

Ahn, Thomas and Yelowitz, Aaron (2016): Paid Sick Leave and Absenteeism: The First Evidence from the U.S.

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Abstract

Using a balanced sample of workers from the NHIS, we estimate of the impact of paid sick leave (PSL) insurance on absenteeism in the United States. PSL increases absenteeism by 1.2 days per year, a large effect given the typical benefit duration. Consistent with moral hazard, the effects are concentrated in moderate sick days, not severe ones. In addition, we merge the NHIS with Google Flu Trends. Severe influenza outbreaks lead workers to exhaust sick days, consequently leading to a replacement rate of zero for additional absences. Consistent with a lower replacement rate, worker absenteeism is reduced on the margin.

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