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Is Workers' Compensation Covering Uninsured Medical Costs? Evidence fromthe `Monday Effect'

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  • David Card
  • Brian P. McCall

Abstract

Steady increases in the costs of medical care, coupled with a rise in the fraction of workers who lack medical care insurance, have led to a growing concern that the Workers' Compensation system is paying for off-the-job injuries. Many analysts have interpreted the high rate of Monday injuries -- especially for hard-to-monitor injuries like back sprains -- as evidence of this phenomenon. In this paper, we propose a test of the hypothesis that higher Monday injury rates are due to fraudulent claims. Specifically, we compare the daily injury patterns for workers who are more and less likely to have medical insurance coverage, and the corresponding differences in the fraction of injury claims that are disputed by employers. Contrary to expectations, we find that workers without medical coverage are no more likely to report a Monday injury than other workers. Similarly, employers are no more likely to challenge a Monday injury claim -- even for workers who lack medical insurance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5058.

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Date of creation: Mar 1995
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5058

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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment: An Application of Instrumental Variables with Moments from Two Samples," NBER Working Papers 3571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Incentive Effects of Workers' Compensation Insurance," NBER Working Papers 3089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Parsons, Donald O, 1980. "The Decline in Male Labor Force Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 117-34, February.
  4. Barmby, T A & Orme, C D & Treble, John G, 1991. "Worker Absenteeism: An Analysis Using Microdata," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 214-29, March.
  5. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1985. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 370-79, October.
  6. Bound, John, 1989. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 482-503, June.
  7. Douglas Wolf & David Greenberg, 1986. "The Dynamics of Welfare Fraud: An Econometric Duration Model in Discrete Time," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 437-455.
  8. James R. Chelius, 1982. "The influence of workers' compensation on safety incentives," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(2), pages 235-242, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Denis Bolduc & Bernard Fortin & France Labrecque & Paul Lanoie, 1997. "Incentive Effects of Public Insurance Programs on the Occurence and the Composition of Workplace Injuries," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-24, CIRANO.
  2. Guy Lacroix & Marie-Ève Brouard, 2011. "Work Absenteeism Due to a Chronic Disease," Cahiers de recherche 1108, CIRPEE.
  3. Ichino, Andrea & Moretti, Enrico, 2006. "Biological Gender Differences, Absenteeism and the Earning Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 2207, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2009. "Long-Term Absenteeism and Moral Hazard: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 172, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. David Card & Brian P. McCall, 2006. "When to Start a Fight and When to Fight Back: Liability Disputes in the Workers' Compensation System," NBER Working Papers 11918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michele Campolieti, 2002. "Moral Hazard and Disability Insurance: On the Incidence of Hard-to-Diagnose Medical Conditions in the Canada/Quebec Pension Plan Disability Program," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(3), pages 419-441, September.
  7. Imbens, Guido & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Scholarly Articles 3043416, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Avner Ben-Ner & Yong-Seung Park, . "Duration of Non-Work Spells in the Workers' Compensation Insurance System: Unionized vs. Non-Unionized Workers," Working Papers 1202, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).

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