Pay, technology, and the cost of worker absence

Melvyn Coles, Joseph Lanfranchi, Ali Skalli, John Treble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conventional studies of absenteeism concentrate on labor supply. An equilibrium approach, however, establishes that the shadow cost of absenteeism varies across firms that operate different technologies. Using an unusual employee/employer matched data set from France, which records both individual worker absenteeism and information about technology, we show that firms operating just-in-time technology have higher shadow costs of absence than firms that do not. The estimates are used to calculate the economy-wide cost of absence, which turns out to be very low. (JEL J22, J31, J41).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-285
Number of pages18
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


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