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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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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00335533

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Claudia Goldin, 1994. "Labor Markets in the Twentieth Century," NBER Historical Working Papers 0058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jonathan Gruber & Aaron S. Yelowitz, 1998. "Public Health Insurance and Private Savings," JCPR Working Papers 42, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  4. Kelly D. Edmiston, 2006. "Workers' Compensation and State Employment Growth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 121-145.
  5. Katherine Baicker & Helen Levy, 2007. "Employer Health Insurance Mandates and the Risk of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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).
  7. Price V. Fishback, 2006. "The Irony of Reform. Did Large Employers Subvert Workplace Safety Reform, 1869 to 1930?," NBER Chapters, in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 285-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

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