In this major new work, Michael J. Moore and W. Kip Viscusi explore the question, “How are workers compensated for exposing themselves to the risk of physical injury while on the job?” The authors detail the diverse nature of labor market responses to job risks and the important role played by compensation-for-risk mechanisms. Following an overview of the literature, they present a number of unprecedented results. Comprehensive and systematic discussions of issues such as wage-risk tradeoffs, the effects of workers’ compensation on wages and risk, the role of unions, and the role of product liability suits in job-related injuries make the volume an essential work for all those interested in risk policy and workplace safety. Among the major results presented for the first time are the first estimates of the value of life derived from recently released occupational fatality risk data from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatality Survey. From these same data the authors also demonstrate that higher workers’ compensation benefit levels significantly reduce fatalities on the job — a finding that challenges virtually every other treatment of this topic.
Originally published in 1990.
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