A-21/18 The heavy cost of care: Systemic challenges in Norwegian work absenteeism

The cost of work absenteeism (sickness absence) is high in Norway (120 billion NOK), which threatens the economic sustainability of the Norwegian welfare state. Social sustainability is also challenged with women having a higher absenteeism rate than men. I use system dynamics modeling to explore how women attain a high rate of work absenteeism. Care work is the chosen case because this is the profession category where women are most represented. The results do not support the double burden theory, though several structural mechanisms indicate that competing theories of female absenteeism illustrate different sides of the same phenomenon. Social Sciences 7(6): 94

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