The Adoption of Workers' Compensation in the United States 1900-1930
The adoption of workers' compensation in the 1910s, from a variety of perspectives, was a significant event in the economic, legal, and political history of the United States. The legislation represented the first instance of a widespread social insurance program in the United States, setting the stage for the later adoption of federal government programs for unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, and health insurance. In this paper, we show that the adoption of workers' compensation was not the result of employers' or workers' to secure benefits at the expense of the other group. Nor was the success of compensation legislation simply the outcome of Progressive Era social reformers' demands for protective legislation. Workers' compensation was enacted rapidly across the United States in the 1910s because the key economic interest groups with a stake in the legislation -- employers, workers, and insurance companies -- anticipated benefits from resolving an apparent first decade of the twentieth century, workplace accident risk rose, state legislatures adopted a series of employers' liability laws, and court decisions limited employers' defenses in liability suits, which all combined to substantially increase the uncertainty of the negligence liability system.
|Date of creation:||Nov 1996|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 41, no. 2, part 2 (October 1998): 305-341.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bartel, Ann P & Thomas, Lacy Glenn, 1985. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Regulation: A New Look at OSHA's Impact," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-25, April.
- Kim, Seung-Wook & Fishback, Price V., 1993. "Institutional Change, Compensating Differentials, and Accident Risk in American Railroding, 1892–1945," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(04), pages 796-823, December.
- Victor P. Goldberg, 1976. "Regulation and Administered Contracts," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(2), pages 426-448, Autumn.
- Fishback, Price V. & Kantor, Shawn Everett, 1992. "“Square Deal” or Raw Deal? Market Compensation for Workplace Disamenities, 1884–1903," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 826-848, December.
- Leo Wolman, 1936. "Ebb and Flow in Trade Unionism," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number wolm36-1, September.
- Oliver E. Williamson, 1976. "Franchise Bidding for Natural Monopolies -- in General and with Respect to CATV," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 73-104, Spring.
- Gilligan, Thomas W & Marshall, William J & Weingast, Barry R, 1989.
"Regulation and the Theory of Legislative Choice: The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887,"
Journal of Law and Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 35-61, April.
- Gilligan, Thomas W. & Marshall, William J. & Weingast, Barry R., 1987. "Regulation and the Theory of Legislative Choice: The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887," Working Papers 628, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Johnson, Ronald N. & Libecap, Gary D., 1994. "The Federal Civil Service System and the Problem of Bureaucracy," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226401713, March.
- Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
- Ronald N. Johnson & Gary D. Libecap, 1994. "The Federal Civil Service System and The Problem of Bureaucracy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number john94-1, September.
- Leo Wolman, 1936. "Appendices to "Ebb and Flow in Trade Unionism"," NBER Chapters, in: Ebb and Flow in Trade Unionism, pages 172-239 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sider, Hal, 1983. "Safety and Productivity in Underground Coal Mining," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(2), pages 225-33, May.
- Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
- Leo Wolman, 1936. "Introduction to "Ebb and Flow in Trade Unionism"," NBER Chapters, in: Ebb and Flow in Trade Unionism, pages -9--5 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5840. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.