NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Andy Yuan

Economics Department
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721
USA

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Arizona

NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2020Rising Burdens of Proofs and The Grand Bargain of Workers’ Compensation Laws
with Price V. Fishback: w26980
Nearly every state has amended workers’ compensation laws in the last two decades and the national averages of cash and medical benefits paid per covered worker have declined. As a result, writers have suggested that the states might be cutting back on workers’ compensation benefits. We show that measures of the statutory benefits have been rising over time, a trend that work against the declining trend in average payouts per covered worker. A decline in accident rates at the national level has contributed to the decline in payouts. We then investigate the impact of specific state laws related to burdens of proof and limits on medical coverage after developing an annual panel data set for all states between 1997 and 2016. The results show that state laws that ban liberal construction of th...
 
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