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Cyclical Fluctuations in Workplace Accidents

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  • Boone, Jan
  • van Ours, Jan C

Abstract

This Paper presents a theory and an empirical investigation on cyclical fluctuations in workplace accidents. The theory is based on the idea that reporting an accident dents the reputation of a worker and raises the probability that he is fired. Therefore a country with a high or an increasing unemployment rate has a low (reported) workplace accident rate. The empirical investigation concerns workplace accidents in OECD countries. The analysis confirms that workplace accident rates are inversely related to both the level of unemployment and the change in unemployment. Furthermore, fatal accident rates do not fluctuate over the cycle. We conclude that our empirical analysis is in line with our theory: cyclical fluctuations in workplace accidents have to do with reporting behaviour of workers and not with changes in workplace safety.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3655.

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Date of creation: Nov 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3655

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Keywords: unemployment; workplace accidents;

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References

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  1. Stephen Nickell & D. Nicolitsas, 1994. "Wages," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51644, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  9. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627 Elsevier.
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  11. Arai, Mahmood & Thoursie, Peter Skogman, 2005. "Incentives and selection in cyclical absenteeism," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 269-280, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Anna Maria MOUZA & Antonis TARGOUTZIDIS, 2010. "The Effect of The Economic Cycle on Workplace Accidents In Six European Countries," Ege Academic Review, Ege University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, vol. 10(1), pages 1-13.
  2. Jan Erik Askildsen & Espen Bratberg & Øivind Anti Nilsen, 2005. "Unemployment, labor force composition and sickness absence: a panel data study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(11), pages 1087-1101.
  3. Boone, Jan & van Ours, Jan C., 2006. "Are recessions good for workplace safety?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1069-1093, November.

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