We look for cooperation in a real-world setting in which optometrists absent less frequently in two-chair than one-chair offices because of the externality such behavior imposes on their co-worker. We motivate our empirical analysis by developing a model of worker interdependence in which two workers can either compete or cooperate. We show that, relative to a single worker working in isolation, competition unequivocally increases absence whilst cooperation may increase or decrease absence. Our empirical analysis of a unique data set finds explicit support for cooperative behavior.
Bibliographical noteWe have benefitted from discussions with seminar participants at the Universities of Bath and Sheffield and with participants at the Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU) Workshop on Absenteeism. We are also greatly indebted to the Editor of this journal for insightful comments. The normal disclaimer applies.
- worker interdependency