Who gains the most from improving working conditions? Health-related absenteeism and presenteeism due to stress at work

Brunner, Beatrice; Igic, Ivana; Keller, Anita; Wieser, Simon (2019). Who gains the most from improving working conditions? Health-related absenteeism and presenteeism due to stress at work. European journal of health economics, 20(8), pp. 1165-1180. Springer 10.1007/s10198-019-01084-9

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Work stress-related productivity losses represent a substantial economic burden. In this study, we estimate the effects of social and task-related stressors and resources at work on health-related productivity losses caused by absenteeism and presenteeism. We also explore the interaction effects between job stressors, job resources and personal resources and estimate the costs of work stress. Work stress is defined as exposure to an unfavorable combination of high job stressors and low job resources. The study is based on a repeated survey assessing work productivity and workplace characteristics among Swiss employees. We use a representative cross-sectional data set and a longitudinal data set and apply both OLS and fixed effects models. We find that an increase in task-related and social job stressors increases health-related productivity losses, whereas an increase in social job resources and personal resources (measured by occupational self-efficacy) reduces these losses. Moreover, we find that job stressors have a stronger effect on health-related productivity losses for employees lacking personal and job resources, and that employees with high levels of job stressors and low personal resources will profit the most from an increase in job resources. Productivity losses due to absenteeism and presenteeism attributable to work stress are estimated at 195 Swiss francs per person and month. Our study has implications for interventions aiming to reduce health absenteeism and presenteeism.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Igic, Ivana (A), Keller, Anita (A)


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics








Ivana Igic

Date Deposited:

07 Aug 2019 14:43

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:36

Publisher DOI:






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