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The value of a statistical injury: New evidence from the Swiss labor market

Summary

We study the monetary compensation for non-fatal accident risk in Switzerland using the number of accidents within cells defined over industry × skill-level of the job and capitalizing on the partial panel structure of our data. Our results show that using accident risk at a lower level of aggregation, using narrower samples of workers, and using the wage component that is specific to the firm all yield higher (i.e. more positive) estimates of risk compensation. However, we only find a statistically significant positive compensation for non-fatal accident risk for workers in jobs with the lowest skill-level. Our preferred estimate for this group of workers yields an estimate of about 35,000 Swiss francs per prevented injury per year.

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Correspondence to Andreas Kuhn.

Additional information

We thank Olivier Steiger, Rainer Winkelmann and Josef Zweimüller for helpful comments and suggestions and Alois Fässler for providing us with the data as well as helpful guidelines concerning the handling of the data. Financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation under grant no. 100012-103970 (Ruf), the research grant of the University of Zurich under grant no. 53211602 (Kuhn), and the Austrian Science Fund (S 10304-G16: “The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State”) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Kuhn, A., Ruf, O. The value of a statistical injury: New evidence from the Swiss labor market. Swiss J Economics Statistics 149, 57–86 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03399381

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03399381

JEL-Classification

  • J17
  • J28
  • J31

Keywords

  • compensating wage differentials
  • value of a statistical injury
  • risk measurement