Commuting and Sickness Absence

30 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2017

See all articles by Laszlo Goerke

Laszlo Goerke

University of Trier - Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Olga Lorenz

Trier University of Applied Sciences

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Abstract

We investigate the causal effect of commuting on sickness absence from work using German panel data. To address reverse causation, we use changes in commuting distance for employees who stay with the same employer and who have the same residence during the period of observation. In contrast to previous papers, we do not observe that commuting distances are associated with higher sickness absence, in general. Only employees who commute long distances are absent about 20% more than employees with no commutes. We explore various explanations for the effect of long distance commutes to work and can find no evidence that it is due to working hours mismatch, lower work effort, reduced leisure time or differences in health status.

Keywords: sickness absence, absenteeism, commuting, health, labour supply

JEL Classification: I10, J22, R2, R40

Suggested Citation

Goerke, Laszlo and Lorenz, Olga, Commuting and Sickness Absence. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11183, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3081417

Laszlo Goerke (Contact Author)

University of Trier - Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union ( email )

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Trier, 54296
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iaaeu.de/

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Olga Lorenz

Trier University of Applied Sciences ( email )

Scheidershof
Trier, 54293
Germany

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