The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp 1181–1198 | Cite as

A methodological proposal to evaluate the cost of duration moral hazard in workplace accident insurance

  • Ángel Martín-Román
  • Alfonso Moral
Original Paper


The cost of duration moral hazard in workplace accident insurance has been amply explored by North-American scholars. Given the current context of financial constraints in public accounts, and particularly in the Social Security system, we feel that the issue merits inquiry in the case of Spain. The present research posits a methodological proposal using the econometric technique of stochastic frontiers, which allows us to break down the duration of work-related leave into what we term “economic days” and “medical days”. Our calculations indicate that during the 9-year period spanning 2005–2013, the cost of sick leave amongst full-time salaried workers amounted to 6920 million Euros (in constant 2011 Euros). Of this total, and bearing in mind that “economic days” are those attributable to duration moral hazard, over 3000 million Euros might be linked to workplace absenteeism. It is on this figure where economic policy measures might prove more effective.


Workplace accident insurance Moral hazard Stochastic frontiers Economic days Physiological days 

JEL Classification

I13 I18 J28 J32 H51 



The first author was partially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Education (MEC) under project ECO2014-52343-P, co-financed by FEDER funds. The second author has been partially supported by MEC under project CSO2015-69439-R. We would like to thank all the participants of the Health Economics session in the XL Symposium of Spanish Economic Association held in Girona (Spain), especially Catia Nicodemo and Toni Mora, for their insightful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economic Analysis, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Jurídicas y de la ComunicaciónUniversity of ValladolidSegoviaSpain

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