Do OSHA Inspections Reduce Injuries? A Panel Analysis
AbstractUsing data on injuries and OSHA inspections for 6,842 large manufacturing plants between 1979 and 1985, we find evidence that OSHA inspections significantly reduce injuries. This effect comes exclusively from inspections that impose penalties, inspections which do not impose penalties appear to have no effect on injuries. Plants which are inspected (and penalized) in a given year experience a 22 percent decline in their injuries during the following few years. In our sample, total OSHA enforcement is predicted to have reduced injuries by about 2 percent. We take advantage of the panel nature of our data to test for a number of potential biases: autocorrelated injuries, plant-specific fixed-effects which are correlated with both inspections and injuries, and endogeneity of inspections (injuries causing inspections). These biases lead us to use the percentage change in injuries, rather than injury levels, as the dependent variable for our estimation. Our analysis shows that the estimated effect of inspections on the percentage change in injuries is not significantly affected by these biases, and thus seems to reflect a 'deterrence' effect of OSHA inspections on injuries.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3774.
Date of creation: Jul 1991
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Feinstein, Jonathan S, 1989. "The Safety Regulation of U.S. Nuclear Power Plants: Violations, Inspections, and Abnormal Occurrences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 115-54, February.
- John W. Ruser & Robert S. Smith, 1991. "Reestimating Osha's Effects: Have the Data Changed?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 212-235.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.