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When to Start a Fight and When to Fight Back: Liability Disputes in the Workers' Compensation System

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  • David Card
  • Brian P. McCall

Abstract

Contrary to the original intention of no-fault workers' compensation laws, employers deny liability for a substantial fraction of on-the-job injuries. We develop and estimate a simple structural model that explains the high rate of litigation as a consequence of asymmetric information. We estimate the model using data for a large sample of back injuries in Minnesota. Simulations under the counterfactual assumption that all denied workers pursue their claims suggest that the strategic incentive accounts for 30%-40% of observed liability disputes. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 149-178

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:27:y:2009:i:2:p:149-178

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  1. Peter S. Barth & H. Allan Hunt, 1980. "Workers' Compensation and Work-Related Illnesses and Diseases," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number psbhah1980.
  2. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1989. "Economic Analysis of Legal Disputes and Their Resolution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1067-97, September.
  3. Bruce D. Meyer & W. Kip Viscusi & David L. Durbin, 1990. "Workers' Compensation and Injury Duration: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 3494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kreider, Brent, 1999. "Social Security Disability Insurance: Applications, Awards, and Lifetime Income Flows," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 784-827, October.
  5. Evangelos M. Falaris & Charles R. Link & Michael E. Staten, 1995. "Causes of Litigation in Workers' Compensation Programs," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number clwc.
  6. David Card & Brian P. McCall, 1996. "Is Workers' Compensation covering uninsured medical costs? Evidence from the "Monday effect."," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(4), pages 690-706, July.
  7. Krueger, Alan B., 1990. "Incentive effects of workers' compensation insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 73-99, February.
  8. Price V. Fishback & Shawn Everett Kantor, 2000. "A Prelude to the Welfare State: The Origins of Workers' Compensation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fish00-1.
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Cited by:
  1. Fraisse, H. & Kramarz, F. & Prost, C., 2009. "Labor Court Inputs, Judicial Cases Outcomes and Labor Flows: Identifying Real EPL," Working papers 256, Banque de France.

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