Recessions are Bad for Workplace Safety

36 Pages Posted: 19 May 2011

See all articles by Jan Boone

Jan Boone

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); TILEC

Jan C. van Ours

Tilburg University - Department of Economics; University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Jean-Philippe Wuellrich

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Josef Zweimüller

University of Zurich - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2011

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.

Keywords: cyclical fluctuations, economic incentives, workplace accidents

JEL Classification: I10, J60, J81

Suggested Citation

Boone, Jan and van Ours, Jan C. and Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe and Zweimueller, Josef, Recessions are Bad for Workplace Safety (May 2011). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8373. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1846255

Jan Boone (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER) ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2399 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3042 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

TILEC ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Jan C. Van Ours

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2880 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3042 (Fax)

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

Jean-Philippe Wuellrich

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Mühlebachstrasse 86
Zurich, 8008
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.iew.uzh.ch/index.html

Josef Zweimueller

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland
+411 634 3724 (Phone)
+411 634 4907 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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