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Recessions are bad for workplace safety


Boone, Jan; van Ours, Jan C; Wüllrich, Jean-Philippe; Zweimüller, Josef (2011). Recessions are bad for workplace safety. Journal of Health Economics, 30(4):764-773.

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.

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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10 citations in Web of Science®
14 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:1 July 2011
Deposited On:09 Nov 2011 15:50
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:05
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0167-6296
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.05.013

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