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Cyclical Fluctuations in Workplace Accidents

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Author Info

  • Boone, J.
  • Ours, J.C. van

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

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 rated 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 behavior of workers and not with changes in workplace safety.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2002-98.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:200298

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: workplace accidents; unemployment;

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References

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  1. Leigh, J. Paul, 1985. "The effects of unemployment and the business cycle on absenteeism," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 159-170, May.
  2. Johansson, Per & Palme, Mårten, 2001. "Assessing the effect of public policy on worker absenteeism," Working Paper Series 2002:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Guadalupe, Maria, 2003. "The hidden costs of fixed term contracts: the impact on work accidents," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 339-357, June.
  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. Meyer, Bruce D & Viscusi, W Kip & Durbin, David L, 1995. "Workers' Compensation and Injury Duration: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 322-40, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Brown, Sarah & Sessions, John G, 1996. " The Economics of Absence: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 23-53, March.
  9. Arai, Mahmood & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2001. "Incentives and Selection in Cyclical Absenteeism," Working Paper Series 167, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  10. Thomas J. Kniesner & John D. Leeth, 1989. "Separating the reporting effects from the injury rate effects of workers' compensation insurance: A hedonic simulation," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(2), pages 280-293, January.
  11. 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.
  12. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher, 1999. "New Developments in Models of Search in the Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Stephen Nickell & D Nicolitsas, 1994. "Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0219, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  14. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2001. "Economic Expansions Are Unhealthy: Evidence from Microdata," NBER Working Papers 8447, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002. "Unemployment, Labour Force Composition and Sickness Absence: A Panel Data Study," IZA Discussion Papers 466, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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