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The Employers' cost of Workers' Compensation Insurance: Magnitudes, Determinants, and Public Policy

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  • Alan B. Krueger
  • John F. Burton, Jr.

Abstract

This paper presents estimates of the average cost of the workers' compensation insurance program for a homogeneous group of employers by state. These estimates are of interest because they reflect the operation, direct nominal costs, and efficiency of workers' compensation. The paper estimates cost equations for a variety of alternative specifications. The main finding is that when cost equations are estimated by ordinary least squares there is a unit elasticity of costs with respect to benefits, but instrumental variable estimates of the effect of benefits yield a greater than unit elasticity. The results also indicate that the presence of a state insurance fund is associated with higher average costs to employers, all else equal. Finally, we explore the impact that the minimum standards recommended by the National Commission on State Workmen's Compensation Laws would have on workers' compensation costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3029.

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Date of creation: Jul 1989
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Publication status: published as The Review of Economics and Statistics, Volume 72, Number 2, May 1990, pp. 228-240.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3029

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  1. Hausman, Jerry A. & Taylor, William E., 1981. "Panel data and unobservable individual effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 155-155, May.
  2. Viscusi, W Kip & Moore, Michael J, 1987. "Workers' Compensation: Wage Effects, Benefit Inadequacies, and the Value of Health Losses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(2), pages 249-61, May.
  3. H. Allan Hunt & Alan B. Krueger & John F. Burton Jr., 1988. "The Impact of Open competition in Michigan on the Employers' costs of Workers' Compensation," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Workers' Compensation Insurance Pricing: Current Programs and Proposed Reform, pages 109-144 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  4. Butler, Richard J & Worrall, John D, 1983. "Workers' Compensation: Benefit and Injury Claims Rates in the Seventies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 580-89, November.
  5. Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1979. "A Simple Test for Heteroscedasticity and Random Coefficient Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1287-94, September.
  6. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Wolfe, John R, 1990. "Compensating Wage Differentials and the Duration of Wage Loss," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S175-97, January.
  7. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1985. "Workers' Compensation, Wages, and the Risk of Injury," NBER Working Papers 1538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Breusch, Trevor S & Mizon, Grayham E & Schmidt, Peter, 1989. "Efficient Estimation Using Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 695-700, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Krueger, Alan B. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2002. "Labor supply effects of social insurance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 33, pages 2327-2392 Elsevier.
  2. Grossman, Gene & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Environmental Impacts of a North American Free Trade Agreement," CEPR Discussion Papers 644, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Krueger, Alan B., 1990. "Incentive effects of workers' compensation insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 73-99, February.
  4. Kelly D. Edmiston, 2006. "Workers' Compensation and State Employment Growth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 121-145.
  5. repec:fth:prinin:424 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Alan B. Krueger, 2000. "From Bismarck to Maastricht: The March to European Union and the Labor Compact," NBER Working Papers 7456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:fth:prinin:428 is not listed on IDEAS

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