14th journées Louis-André Gérard-Varet

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Does Activating Sick-Listed Workers Work? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment
Bénédicte Rouland, Kai REHWALD, Michael ROSHOLM

Last modified: 2015-05-06


Reporting from a large-scale randomized controlled trial conducted in Danish job cen-ters, this paper investigates the effects of intensified mandatory return-to-work activitieson sick-listed workers’ subsequent labor market outcomes. By exploiting variations in localtreatment strategies, both between job centers and between randomly selected treatment andcontrol groups within a given job center, we are able to compare the relative effectivenessof alternative interventions. Our results show that graded return-to-work programs (i.e.,partial sick leaves) increase the time spent in regular employment and non-benefit receipt,and reduce the time spent in unemployment. Traditional activation and paramedical careappear to have no or even adverse impacts.


Sickness absence; Active Labor Market Policies;Randomized Controlled Trial