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|Title: ||The absence decision: a theoretical and empirical analysis|
|Authors: ||Brown, Sarah|
|Issue Date: ||1995|
|Publisher: ||© Sarah Brown|
|Abstract: ||Economists have been somewhat remiss in dealing with the issue of worker
absence. This is surprising given the figures involved. In the year of the last
miners' strike, 27 million working days were lost as a result of strike activity, a
figure which pales by comparison with the 375 million working days lost on
average as a result of absenteeism over the 1980's [Economic Trends].
Furthermore, a study by management consultants, Arthur Anderson, recently
estimated the cost of absenteeism to the UK industry at £6 billion per year [The
Despite all this, relatively little attention has been paid in the economic
literature to either the causes and/or the effects of absenteeism. Nevertheless,
the discipline has benefited from a basic yet rigorous theoretical structure
founded on static neo-classical labour supply theory. The aim of this Thesis is
to address two main weaknesses of the existing theory of absence behaviour.
Firstly, there is a distinct shortage of models which explicitly
incorporate labour demand considerations and, consequently, ways in which
employers might attempt to control absenteeism. Hence, emphasis in this Thesis
is placed on the analysis of methods of absence control such as the provision of
experience rated sick pay and overtime.
A second weakness of the existing theory concerns the somewhat limited 'static' approach which has generally been adopted in the economic
literature. Thus, this Thesis acknowledges the role of risk and uncertainty in
absence behaviour by setting the analysis within a dynamic framework.
The key objective of this Thesis is to explore the determinants of
absence behaviour and identify ways in which contractual arrangements and,
therefore, labour demand considerations manipulate the incentive to absent from
the work place. The empirical analysis supports the hypothesis that observed
absence behaviour is primarily influenced by the nature of the employment
contract and, therefore, by the interaction of labour supply and labour demand.|
|Description: ||A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.|
|Appears in Collections:||PhD Theses (Business School)|
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