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Recessions are bad for workplace safety

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:4:p:764-773
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Josef Zweim�ller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon B�chi, 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Shea, J., 1990. "Accident Rates, Labor Effort And The Business Cycle," Working papers 90-28, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    4. 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.
    5. 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 835-858, August.
    6. 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.
    7. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2001. "Economic Expansions Are Unhealthy: Evidence from Microdata," NBER Working Papers 8447, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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 561-566.
    9. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
    10. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Cristina Borra, 2013. "On the differential impact of the recent economic downturn on work safety by nativity: the Spanish experience," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-26, December.
    2. Elizabeth Chinomona & Tebogo Mofokeng, 2015. "The influence of workplace condition and employee satisfaction on employee committee in South African Companies," Journal of Business & Management (COES&RJ-JBM), , vol. 3(2), pages 356-369, April.
    3. repec:bla:labour:v:31:y:2017:i:1:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. McManus, T. Clay & Schaur, Georg, 2016. "The effects of import competition on worker health," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 160-172.
    7. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:562-577 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Picchio, Matteo & van Ours, Jan C., 2016. "Temporary Jobs and the Severity of Workplace Accidents," CEPR Discussion Papers 11430, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. repec:ctc:serie1:def15 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Jonathan H. Cantor & Brady P. Horn & Johanna Catherine Maclean, 2013. "Recessions and Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment," NBER Working Papers 19115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Simo Salminen & Donghyun Seo, 2015. "Future of Occupational Injuries," International Journal of Asian Social Science, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 5(6), pages 341-354, June.
    12. Athina Economou & Ioannis Theodossiou, 2015. "Join the Union and Be Safe: The Effects of Unionization on Occupational Safety and Health in the European Union," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(2), pages 127-140, June.
    13. Leombruni, Roberto & Razzolini, Tiziano & Serti, Francesco, 2015. "The Hidden Cost of Labor Market Entry During Recession: Unemployment Rate at Entry and Occupational Injury Risk of Young Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 8968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. D’Ambrosio, Anna & Leombruni, Roberto & Razzolini, Tiziano, 2017. "Native-Migrant Differences in Trading Off Wages and Workplace Safety," IZA Discussion Papers 10523, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Russell, Helen & Maitre, Bertrand & Watson, Dorothy, 2015. "Trends and Patterns in Occupational Health and Safety in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS40.
    16. Gabriele Mazzolini, 2014. "The economic consequences of accidents at work," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def015, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Workplace accidents Economic incentives Cyclical fluctuations;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions

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