Commuting time and sickness absence of US workers

Gimenez-Nadal, J. I., Molina, J. A., & Velilla, J. (2022). Commuting time and sickness absence of US workers. Empirica, 1-29.


This paper analyzes the relationship between commuting time and days of sickness absence of US workers. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for the years 2011 to 2017, we find that a 1% increase in the daily commute of workers is associated with an increase of 0.018 and 0.027% in the days of sickness absence per year of male and female workers, respectively. These results are robust for women when sample selection, missing variables, and health status are explored. Further exploration of this relationship shows that the positive relationship between commuting and sickness absence is concentrated in urban areas only, and is present in the intensive margin (hours) for men and the extensive margin (participation) for women. By uncovering how commuting time is related to sickness absenteeism, we contribute to the literature on the negative correlation between commuting and workers’ health and well-being.


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