The Absence Consequences of Overtime in the Transit Industry

Journal of Public Transportation Article in Volume 3, Issue 4 (2000) by Yoram Shiftan, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Nigel H. M. Wilson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology         

Abstract

The transit industry relies on overtime to fill in for worker absence or to cover unexpected extra work. The purpose of this article is to study the absence consequences of overtime in the transit industry through a disaggregate model of absence. The model was estimated with panel data of transit operators to test the hypothesis that widespread availability of overtime may induce absence. This might occur for two reasons. Some employees may be more likely to be absent after reaching a threshold pay amount for a period, and this level will be reached after fewer hours on the job if overtime work is readily available. Other employees may be absent more because of the increased stress and fatigue associated with regularly working long hours including overtime. The results suggest that absence is more a habit than the result of a decision process based on past overtime work.