Working paper 2015:1 Publicerad 2015-03-01

Caseworkers’ Attitudes – Do They Matter?

The caseworkers in public insurance systems possess considerable discretion in terms of making decisions. This creates scope for preferences and attitudes to reflect on initiatives taken during the sick leave and on individuals' return to work.

This paper utilizes a unique caseworker-individual dataset in the public sickness insurance (SI) in Sweden to analyze the impact of caseworkers´ attitudes towards SI rules and rehabilitation programs promoting individuals´ return to work. We find that a positive attitude towards SI rules increased return to work by 3 percent, or 3.5 days, after comparing the 25 percent most positive caseworkers with the 25 percent least positive. Also, a positive attitude towards existing rehabilitation methods reduced return to work by about 2.5 percent, or 3 days.

JEL Classification: C31, H51, I18, J68

Keywords: Public sickness insurance, treatment effects