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Individual Injury Risk and the Labor Supply of Traffic Officers

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between individual workplace injury risk and labor supply. I utilize a novel panel data set of traffic officers. Unique aspects of overtime assignment, including randomization, leave of coworkers, and informal trading enable identification. I find daily labor supply is downward sloping in injury risk: officers are less likely to work when they are more likely to be injured. This self-selection leads to an observed injury rate which is 8.5 times smaller than the underlying average injury rate. I show this has wide-ranging implications for labor supply elasticities, the value of statistical injuries, and overtime assignment.