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Worsening Workers' Health by Lowering Retirement Age: The Malign Consequences of a Benign Reform
In 2003, the retirement age of Swiss construction workers was lowered from 65 to 60. This reform has been intended to improve their health. Our study shows the opposite outcome. The human capital theory suggests that investments in employees’ productivity by the employer and the employees themselves depend on the time remaining until their retirement. Hence, we hypothesize that pension reforms that reduce employees’ working horizon decrease investments in work-related human capital, which translates into a higher prevalence of sickness absences, a longer absence duration, and worse...
The economics of health and safety at work: an interdiciplinary review of the theory and policy
This paper engages in an interdisciplinary survey of the current state of knowledge related to the theory, determinants and consequences of occupational safety and health (OSH). It first describes the fundamental theoretical construct of compensating wage differentials, which is used by economists to understand the optimal provision of OSH in a perfectly competitive labour market. The plethora of incentives faced by workers and firms in job and insurance markets that determine the ultimate level of OSH are discussed in detail. The extensive empirical evidence from the hedonic wage and stated choice...
Workplace mental injury creating 'perfect legal storm', report says
Financial rewards for damages caused by mental injury at work have increased over the past five years by as much as 700 per cent, according to a report released today by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). The report warns that a “perfect legal storm” is brewing in the area of mental health protection at work, and points to emerging responsibilities for employers to provide a psychologically safe workplace. October is Canada's Healthy Workplace Month and next week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. The report entitled, Tracking the Perfect Legal Storm (2010), concludes...
Health Care Reform and the Health of Performing Artists in the US
Abstract: Health care in the United States is beset by three critical problems: cost, quality, and coverage. We have by far the most expensive health care in the world, spending about 17% of our Gross Domestic Product, or over $7,000/person; most other developed countries spend about 8 to 10% of their GDP on health care. Despite spending that much money, the health status of Americans is far from the best in the world. Underlying both problems is the fact that over 15% of the US population does not have health insurance,5 which means they do not have access to health care when it can be delivered...

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