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Do time limits in the sickness insurance system increase return to work?


This article analyzes the effect of stricter enforcement of the eligibility criteria in the Swedish sickness insurance (SI) system. In 2008, time-restricted assessments of the individual’s working capacity on the 91st and 181st sick day was introduced. Taking advantage of the quasi-experimental feature of the intervention, I find a large and significant increased exit rate around the 181-day assessment. The impact is the result of longer spells outside SI-benefits, indicating that the stricter rules create disincentives to report sick.

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Correspondence to Pathric Hägglund.

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Hägglund, P. Do time limits in the sickness insurance system increase return to work?. Empir Econ 45, 567–582 (2013).

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  • Public sickness insurance
  • Policy evaluation
  • Natural experiment

JEL Classification

  • H55
  • I18
  • J22
  • J28