Josef Sigurdsson


Title: Economics of Burnout

Abstract: We study the risk factors and consequences of stress-related occupational illnesses (burnout) using Swedish administrative data linked to medical diagnoses of sick leaves. Women – particularly primary breadwinners – face high burnout risk. But across genders, burnout permanently reduces income. Repercussions extend to their family, reducing spouse's income, children's school grades, and college attendance. The cost of sick leave, earnings scars, and spillovers accumulate to a 2.8% loss of annual national labor income in 2019. Stressful jobs exacerbate burnout likelihood disproportionally for low-stress-tolerant workers, highlighting welfare losses from misallocation. Lastly, we demonstrate how identified risk factors and estimated costs can improve the scope and target of prevention programs. Frequent worker surveys notably enhance burnout prediction and should inform program design.