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This dissertation consists of three distinct papers focusing on understanding and reducing the economic burden of work-related injuries and illnesses. The first paper evaluates the effectiveness of employer based return to work programs using a unique dataset that combines information from an employer-level survey about disability management and return to work practices with worker's compensation claims and five years of post-injury employment outcomes. The second paper analyzes the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and systematically reviews the literature to addresses the impact of California workers' compensation reforms that limit two controversial medical treatments: chiropractic care and physical therapy. The third paper uses the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to estimate the impact of exposure to occupational hazards on disease rates and costs among the elderly.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    How Effective are Employer Return to Work Programs?

  • Chapter Two

    Chiropractic Care and Physical Therapy: Evaluating Effectiveness and the Impact of California Workers' Compensation Reforms

  • Chapter Three

    Estimating the Impact of Workplace Exposure to Hazards on Disease Incidence, Prevalence, and Medical Costs

Research conducted by

This document was submitted as a dissertation in April 2014 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Seth A. Seabury (Chair), Robert T. Reville, and John Mendeloff.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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