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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.

Suggested Citation

  • David Card & Brian P. McCall, 1995. "Is Workers' Compensation Covering Uninsured Medical Costs? Evidence fromthe `Monday Effect'," NBER Working Papers 5058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5058
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Parsons, Donald O, 1980. "The Decline in Male Labor Force Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 117-134, February.
    2. 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.
    3. 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 214-229, March.
    4. Krueger, Alan B., 1990. "Incentive effects of workers' compensation insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 73-99, February.
    5. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
    6. James R. Chelius, 1982. "The Influence of Workers' Compensation on Safety Incentives," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(2), pages 235-242, January.
    7. 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.
    8. Burgess, Paul L, 1992. "Compliance with Unemployment-Insurance Job-Search Regulations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 371-396, October.
    9. David Card & Brian P. McCall, 1994. "Is Workers' Compensation Covering Uninsured Medical Costs? Evidence from the 'Monday Effect'," Working Papers 706, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Ichino & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Biological Gender Differences, Absenteeism, and the Earnings Gap," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 183-218, January.
    2. Shore-Sheppard, Lara & Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Jensen, Gail A., 2000. "Medicaid and crowding out of private insurance: a re-examination using firm level data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 61-91, January.
    3. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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