Work Injuries and Wage Losses for Partially Disabled California Workers: Discussion
Ehrenberg, Ronald G.
[Excerpt] Wayne Vroman's paper is a modest preliminary report, which is derived from an ongoing research project concerned with permanent partial disabilities and workers' compensation. The larger project will develop and implement methods for projecting postinjury earnings losses, compare actual compensation measures to these projected losses, and draw conclusions as to the adequacy and equity of workers' compensation benefits. One cannot question the usefulness of the larger project and the profession should be indebted to Vroman and his collaborators for undertaking it. One should stress, however, that the key to the success of the project will lie in their ability to project postinjury earnings losses, which for younger workers may persist 35 or 40 years into the future. Vroman states, "This raises issues of control group methodology which lie considerably beyond the scope of this paper." If I was writing the paper, I would have focused on this issue and deemphasized the "progress report" aspects of the paper. Since this issue is the key to the ultimate success of the project, I strongly urge Vroman et al. to present their methodology to the profession for comments and evaluation prior to the preparation of their final report.
California; workplace injuries; wage loss; disability; Wayne Vroman
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