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Pavalko, Eliza K. (1989). State Timing of Policy Adoption: Workmen's Compensation in the United States, 1909-1929. American Journal of Sociology, 95(3), 592-615.


Using event-history analysis, this study of workmen's compensation analyzes how fast American state legislators responded to the work-accident problem. States were quicker to adopt legislation when productivity and work-accident litigation were high and when non-agricultural workers outnumbered agricultural ones. Despite the influence of capital and labor in shaping workmen's compensation in other analyses, the speed of state legislation was unaffected by the presence or interests of capital and labor groups. This suggests that the speed of adoption was shaped by a different aspect of capital-labor relations than is seen when studies focus on the activities of specific actors or groups.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Sociology


Pavalko, Eliza K.