Workers’ compensation laws, the first government insurance adopted in the United States, spread rapidly from state to state in the 1910s. The history of Minnesota’s program, adopted in 1913, shows how politicking by special interests affects public policy.

Shawn Everett Kantor is an associate professor of economics and of public administration and policy.
Price V. Fishback is the Thomas R. Brown Professor of Economics at the University of Arizona, Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Co-Editor of the Journal of Economic History.
American HistoryCampaign FinanceEconomic History and DevelopmentEconomyEntitlements and WelfareGovernment and PoliticsLabor and EmploymentLabor Law and RegulationLaw and Liberty
Other Independent Review articles by Price V. Fishback
Spring 2023 Career and Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey toward Equity
Summer 2007 For All of These Rights: Business, Labor, and the Shaping of America’s Private-Public Welfare State
Winter 2000/01 Calculating Risks: The Spatial and Political Dimensions of Hazardous-Waste Policy