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Did Workers Pay for the Passage of Workers' Compensation Laws?

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  • Fishback, Price V
  • Kantor, Shawn Everett

Abstract

Market responses to legislative reforms often mitigate the expected gains that reformers promise in legislation. Contemporaries hailed workers' compensation as a boon to workers because it raised the amount of postaccident compensation paid to injured workers. Despite the large gains to workers, employers often supported the legislation. Analysis of several wage samples from the early 1900s shows that employers were able to pass a significant part of the added costs of higher postaccident compensation on to some workers in the form of reductions in wages. The size of the wage offsets, however, was smaller for union workers. Copyright 1995, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 110 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 713-42

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:3:p:713-42

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Cited by:
  1. Kelly D. Edmiston, 2006. "Workers' Compensation and State Employment Growth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 121-145.
  2. Jonathan Gruber & Aaron Yelowitz, 1999. "Public Health Insurance and Private Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1249-1274, December.
  3. Price Fishback, 2005. "The Irony of Reform: Did Large Employers Subvert Workplace Safety Reform, 1869 to 1930?," NBER Working Papers 11058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2007. "Consumption Reponses to In-Kind Transfers: Evidence from the Introduction of the Food Stamp Program," Working Papers 0711, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  5. Chiaki Moriguchi, 2003. "Implicit Contracts, the Great Depression, and Institutional Change: A Comparative Analysis of U.S. and Japanese Employment Relations, 1920-1940," NBER Working Papers 9559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Emery, J.C. Herbert, 2010. ""Un-American" or unnecessary? America's rejection of compulsory government health insurance in the Progressive Era," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 68-81, January.
  7. Jonathan Gruber & Julie Berry Cullen, 1996. "Spousal Labor Supply as Insurance: Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Outthe Added Worker Effect?," NBER Working Papers 5608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Katherine Baicker & Helen Levy, 2008. "Employer Health Insurance Mandates and the Risk of Unemployment," Risk Management and Insurance Review, American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-132, 03.
  9. Claudia Goldin, 1994. "Labor Markets in the Twentieth Century," NBER Historical Working Papers 0058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Addison, John T., 2006. "Politico-Economic Causes of Labor Regulation in the United States: Rent Seeking, Alliances, Raising Rivals' Costs (Even Lowering One's Own?), and Interjurisdictional Competition," IZA Discussion Papers 2381, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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