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Recessions are bad for workplace safety

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  • Boone, Jan
  • van Ours, Jan C
  • Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe
  • Zweimüller, Josef

Abstract

Workplace accidents are an important economic phenomenon. Yet, the pro-cyclical fluctuations in workplace accidents are not well understood. They could be related to fluctuations in effort and working hours, but workplace accidents may also be affected by reporting behavior. Our paper uses unique data on workplace accidents from an Austrian matched worker-firm dataset to study in detail how economic incentives affect workplace accidents. We find that workers who reported an accident in a particular period of time are more likely to be fired later on. And, we find support for the idea that recessions influence the reporting of moderate workplace accidents: if workers think the probability of dismissals at the firm level is high, they are less likely to report a moderate workplace accident.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8373.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8373

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Keywords: cyclical fluctuations; economic incentives; workplace accidents;

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References

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  1. Boone, Jan & van Ours, Jan C. & Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe & Zweimüller, Josef, 2011. "Recessions are bad for workplace safety," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 764-773, July.
  2. Hwang, Hae-shin & Reed, W Robert & Hubbard, Carlton, 1992. "Compensating Wage Differentials and Unobserved Productivity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 835-58, August.
  3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Brooker, Ann-Sylvia & Frank, John W. & Tarasuk, Valerie S., 1997. "Back pain claim rates and the business cycle," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 429-439, August.
  5. Barmby, Tim & Sessions, John G & Treble, John G, 1994. " Absenteeism, Efficiency Wages and Shirking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 561-66.
  6. Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian social security database," IEW - Working Papers 410, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    • Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian Social Security Database," NRN working papers 2009-03, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  7. Boone, J. & Ours, J.C. van, 2006. "Are recessions good for workplace safety?," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-194306, Tilburg University.
  8. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 1996. "Do economic incentives affect work absence? Empirical evidence using Swedish micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 195-218, February.
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Cited by:
  1. M. Agovino, 2014. "What are the main explanations of occupational diseases and accidents at work in the agricultural sector? A panel analysis for Italian regional data," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 1045-1073, March.
  2. Boone, Jan & van Ours, Jan C. & Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe & Zweimüller, Josef, 2011. "Recessions Are Bad for Workplace Safety," IZA Discussion Papers 5688, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Jonathan H. Cantor & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, 2013. "Economic Downturns and Substance Abuse Treatment: Evidence from Admissions Data," NBER Working Papers 19115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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