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Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the determinants of absenteeism. The authors extend the typical labor-leisure model used to analyze the decision to skip work to include firm-level policy variables relevant to the absenteeism decision and uncertainty about the cost of absenteeism. Estimates based on data from Statistics Canada’s Workplace Employee Survey (1999–2002), with controls for observed and unobserved demographic, job, and firm characteristics (including workplace practices), indicate that work arrangements were important determinants of absence. For example, the authors find strong evidence that standard weekday work hours, work-at-home options, and reduced workweeks were associated with reduced absence, whereas shift work and compressed work weeks were associated with increased absence.

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