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This document presents a review of the major issues of current concern to insurers, employers, workers, and government agencies regarding workers' compensation law. The compensation system has changed rapidly and dramatically over the past decade, raising new questions and problems with each reform. The authors discuss the issues that have been identified by experts in the field and suggest areas for research that will help to clarify the effects of different options for reforming or redesigning the system in response to these concerns. A brief history of workers' compensation in the United States and description of the current status of the law and the system itself is presented. Then the report analyzes in more detail some of the economic issues presented. The final section presents some suggestions for future research. The suggestions are directed toward achieving a greater understanding of how the workers' compensation system produces its outcomes and how proposed reforms will affect these outcomes.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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