A Behavioral Approach to Compliance: OSHA Enforcement's Impact on Workplace Accidents
AbstractThis study test for effects of OSHA enforcement, using data on injuries and OSHA inspections for 6,842 manufacturing plants between 1979 and 1985. We use measures of general deterrence (expected inspections at plants like this one) and specific deterrence (actual inspections at this plant). Both measures of deterrence are found to affect accidents, with a 10% increase in inspections with penalties predicted to reduce accidents by 2%. The existence of specific deterrence effects, the importance of lagged effects, the asymmetrical effects of probability and amount of penalty on accidents, and the tendency of injury rates to self-correct over a few years support a behavioral model of the firm's response to enforcement rather than the traditional expected penalty' model of deterrence theory.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2813.
Date of creation: Jan 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as John T. Scholz and Wayne B. Gray, "OSHA Enforcement and Workplace Injuries: A Behavioral Approach to Risk Assessment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 283-305, September 1990.
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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"Are OSHA Health Inspections Effective? A Longitudinal Study in the Manufacturing Sector,"
NBER Working Papers
3233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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