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Recessions Are Bad for Workplace Safety

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Author Info

  • Boone, Jan

    ()
    (Tilburg University)

  • van Ours, Jan C.

    ()
    (Tilburg University)

  • Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe

    ()
    (University of Zurich)

  • Zweimüller, Josef

    ()
    (University of Zurich)

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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5688.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Health Economics, 2011, 30 (4), 764-773
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5688

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Related research

Keywords: cyclical fluctuations; economic incentives; workplace accidents;

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References

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  1. 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.
  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. 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.
  4. Boone, J. & Ours, J.C. van & Wuellrich, J.P. & Zweimuller, J., 2011. "Recessions are Bad for Workplace Safety," Discussion Paper 2011-050, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. 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.
    • 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
  8. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Boone, Jan & van Ours, Jan C & Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe & Zweimüller, Josef, 2011. "Recessions are bad for workplace safety," CEPR Discussion Papers 8373, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  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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