Economists have known about this trend for a while, and they typically provide two main reasons why. First, workers have an increased incentive to show up to work during a bad economy to avoid losing their jobs and falling into a bad job market. Second, a good economy’s workforce might be less healthy since less healthy people can more easily find work during good times.
Now, a new study poses another explanation: better economies increase workloads. Those increased workloads encourage workers to go to work even when they’re sick, and those sick employees then get their coworkers sick. Swiss economist Stefan Pichler developed a model to prove this idea, and his findings suggest that employers should encourage workers to stay home when they’re sick.