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The Impact of Occupational Safety and Health Regulation

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  • W. Kip Viscusi

Abstract

Occupational health and safety regulation imposes on enterprises an expected penalty that is positively related to the presence of unsafe working conditions for firms not in compliance with the standards. Higher expected penalties will increase enterprises' investment in work quality inputs, which in turn will lead workers to reduce their safety-enhancing actions. Low and moderate expected penalty levels increase health and safety, whereas very severe penalties may have a counterproductive effect. Present OSHA penalty levels are too low to create an effective financial incentive. The analysis of pooled time series and cross section data on industry health and safety investments and injury rates for the 1972-1975 period failed to indicate any significant OSHA impact for the data set analyzed.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal Bell Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 10 (1979)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Pages: 117-140

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Handle: RePEc:rje:bellje:v:10:y:1979:i:spring:p:117-140

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Cited by:
  1. Gray, Wayne B & Jones, Carol Adaire, 1991. "Are OSHA Health Inspections Effective? A Longitudinal Study in the Manufacturing Sector," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 504-08, August.
  2. Earnhart, Dietrich, 2004. "Regulatory factors shaping environmental performance at publicly-owned treatment plants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 655-681, July.
  3. McCarthy, Patrick & Talley, Wayne K., 1999. "Evidence on risk compensation and safety behaviour," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 91-96, January.
  4. Wayne B. Gray & John Mendeloff, 2002. "The Declining Effects of OSHA Inspections on Manufacturing Injuries: 1979 to 1998," NBER Working Papers 9119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Wayne Gray & John T. Scholz, 1989. "A Behavioral Approach to Compliance: OSHA Enforcement's Impact on Workplace Accidents," NBER Working Papers 2813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. McCannon, Bryan C., 2009. "Do less-violent technologies result in less violence? A theoretical investigation applied to the use of tasers by law enforcement," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-36, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. Wayne B. Gray, 1984. "The Impact of OSHA and EPA Regulation on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 1405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Donado, Alejandro, 2013. "Why Do Unionized Workers Have More Nonfatal Occupational Injuries?," Working Papers 0551, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  9. Eric Helland, 1998. "The Enforcement Of Pollution Control Laws: Inspections, Violations, And Self-Reporting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 141-153, February.
  10. Christine Jolls, 2007. "Employment Law and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 13230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Avner Ben-Ner & Yong-Seung Park, . "Duration of Non-Work Spells in the Workers' Compensation Insurance System: Unionized vs. Non-Unionized Workers," Working Papers 1202, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).
  12. Paul Lanoie & David StréLiski, 1995. "L'impact de la réglementation en matière de santé et sécurité du travail sur le risque d'accidents au Québec : de nouveaux résultats," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-30, CIRANO.

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