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Recessions are bad for workplace safety

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

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 764-773

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:4:p:764-773
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Shea, J., 1990. "Accident Rates, Labor Effort And The Business Cycle," Working papers 90-28, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. 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.
  3. Boone, Jan & van Ours, Jan C. & Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe & Zweimüller, Josef, 2011. "Recessions Are Bad for Workplace Safety," IZA Discussion Papers 5688, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-194306 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Boone, J. & van Ours, J.C., 2006. "Are recessions good for workplace safety?," Other publications TiSEM 1bf0f677-8071-4434-982c-c, School of Economics and Management.
  9. repec:dgr:kubcen:2011050 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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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