Workers’ Risk Underestimation and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
AbstractThe standard treatment of occupational risk in the labour market is conducted in terms of the theory of compensating wage differentials, the basic characteristic of which is that workers can fully estimate actual occupational risks. However, research in cognitive psychology, and recent advances in economic psychology, suggest that individuals consistently underestimate risks associated with accidents. In this paper, we discuss the case when the workers systematically underestimate job risks. After presenting the standard treatment of occupational risks, and of health and safety at work regulation, we then proceed to incorporate the idea of job risk underestimation. The paper discusses the types and impact of regulation on health and safety effort in a simple framework in which workers’ beliefs concerning accident risks also play a role. The paper shows that a particular type of regulatory intervention is necessary for the risk underestimating workers not to suffer a welfare loss.
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 University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 29643.
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Job Risk; Occupational Health and Safety;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
- J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-03-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2011-03-26 (Health Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2011-03-26 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LAW-2011-03-26 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-REG-2011-03-26 (Regulation)
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.:
- Scholz, John T & Gray, Wayne B, 1990. " OSHA Enforcement and Workplace Injuries: A Behavioral Approach to Risk Assessment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 283-305, September.
- Salanié, François & Treich, Nicolas, 2009.
"Regulation in Happyville,"
Open Access publications from University of Toulouse 1 Capitole
http://neeo.univ-tlse1.fr, University of Toulouse 1 Capitole.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Besley, Timothy, 1988. "A simple model for merit good arguments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 371-383, April.
- Ose, Solveig Osborg, 2005. "Working conditions, compensation and absenteeism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 161-188, January.
- Biddle, Jeff E & Zarkin, Gary A, 1988. "Worker Preferences and Market Compensation for Job Risk," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(4), pages 660-67, November.
- Cantor, Richard, 1987. "Long-term contracts, consumption smoothing and wage-profit dynamics," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 59-70.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.