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Is Workers' Compensation Disguised Unemployment Insurance?

Listed author(s):
  • Bernard Fortin
  • Paul Lanoie
  • Christine Laporte

This paper examines how yhe Workers' Compensation (WC) and the Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs interact to influence the duration of claims due to workplace accidents. We use longitudinal WC administrative micro-data on more than 30,000 workers in the Quebec construction industry for the period 1976-1986. Our results show that a reduction in the UI wage replacement ratio is associated with an increase in the duration of claims due to serve accidents that are difficult to diagnose (this category includes severe back-related problems). Also, an increase in the WC replacement ratio leads to an increase in the average duration of claims due to minor accidents that are difficult to diagnose (this category includes minor low-back injuries). Moreover, there seems to be an important seasonal effect in the duration of claims; i.e., the average duration of spells on WC is estimated to be 21.2% higher when an accident occurs in December rather than in July. Ce texte examine comment l'assurance contre les lésions professionnelles (ALP) et l'assurance-chômage (AC) interagissent pour influencer la durée des réclamations pour lésions professionnelles. Nous utilisons des micro-données administratives longitudinales couvrant plus de 30 000 travailleurs du secteur de la construction pour la période 1976-1986. Nos résultats montrent qu'une réduction du taux de remplacement salarial de l'assurance-chômage est associée à une augmentation de la durée des accidents majeurs difficiles à diagnostiquer (cette catégorie inclut les maux de dos majeurs). De plus, un accroissement du taux de remplacement salarial de l'ALP entraîne un accroissement de la durée des accidents mineurs difficiles à diagnostiquer (cette catégorie inclut les lombalgies). Enfin, il semble y avoir un effet saisonnier lié à la durée des périodes d'indemnisation est plus élevée de 21.2% lorsqu'un accident survient en1101 plutôt qu'en0701.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 95s-48.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 01 Nov 1995
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:95s-48
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  1. Dionne, Georges & St-Michel, Pierre, 1991. "Workers' Compensation and Moral Hazard," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 236-244, May.
  2. Bernard Fortin & Paul Lanoie & Christine Laporte, 1996. "Unemployment Insurance and the Duration of Workplace Accidents," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 17-24, April.
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