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Workers' compensation, job hazards, and wages

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  • Stuart Dorsey
  • Norman Walzer
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    Abstract

    Competitive theory implies that compensating wage differentials will be paid to workers in hazardous employment, but only to the extent that employees are liable for risk. This prediction suggests that previous estimates of wage-risk premiums may be biased as a result of the failure to control for variations in workers' compensation benefits across states. The authors of this paper test an empirical model of compensating wage differentials that includes a measure of employer liability. For nonunion workers, they find that significant wage premiums are paid for an increased probability or severity of nonfatal injury; a slight downward bias in these estimates results from omitting the liability variable; and increases in employers' costs of workers' compensation are offset dollar-for-dollar by reduced wages. For union workers, however, the evidence on compensating differentials is mixed, and there is no suggestion of a trade-off between wages and the costs of workers' compensation. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 36 (1983)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 642-654

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:36:y:1983:i:4:p:642-654

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    Cited by:
    1. Viscusi, W Kip, 1993. "The Value of Risks to Life and Health," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1912-46, December.
    2. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1985. "Workers' Compensation, Wages, and the Risk of Injury," NBER Working Papers 1538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Thomas J. Kniesner & W. Kip Viscusi & James P. Ziliak, 2009. "Policy Relevant Heterogeneity in the Value of Statistical Life: New Evidence from Panel Data Quantile Regressions," Center for Policy Research Working Papers, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University 118, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    4. Bellavance, Franois & Dionne, Georges & Lebeau, Martin, 2009. "The value of a statistical life: A meta-analysis with a mixed effects regression model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 444-464, March.
    5. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Matthias Vorell, 2008. "Blood Money: Incentives for Violence in NHL Hockey," Ruhr Economic Papers, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen 0047, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Michaelides, Marios, 2010. "Labour market oligopsonistic competition: The effect of worker immobility on wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 230-239, January.

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