Research Archive

Does Menstruation Explain Gender Gaps in Work Absenteeism?

Jonah Rockoff, Mariesa Herrmann

Publication type: Journal article

Research Archive Topic: Organizations


Ichino and Moretti (2009) find that menstruation may contribute to gender gaps in absenteeism and earnings, based on evidence that absences of young female Italian bank employees follow a 28-day cycle. We find this evidence is not robust to the correction of coding errors or small changes in specification, and we find no evidence of increased female absenteeism on 28-day cycles in data on school teachers. We show that five day workweeks can cause misleading group differences in absence hazards at multiples of seven, including 28 days, and illustrate this problem by comparing absence patterns of younger males to older males.


Rockoff, Jonah, and Mariesa Herrmann. "Does Menstruation Explain Gender Gaps in Work Absenteeism?" Journal of Human Resources 47, no. 2 (March 2012): 493-508.

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