Measuring the effects of work loss on productivity with team production

Health Econ. 2006 Feb;15(2):111-23. doi: 10.1002/hec.1052.


Using data from a survey of 800 managers in 12 industries, we find empirical support for the hypothesis that the cost associated with missed work varies across jobs according to the ease with which a manager can find a perfect replacement for the absent worker, the extent to which the worker functions as part of a team, and the time sensitivity of the worker's output. We then estimate wage 'multipliers' for 35 different jobs, where the multiplier is defined as the cost to the firm of an absence as a proportion (often greater than one) of the absent worker's daily wage. The median multiplier is 1.28, which supports the view that the cost to the firm of missed work is often greater than the wage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Data Collection
  • Efficiency*
  • Humans
  • Industry / economics*
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • United States