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Longitudinal Patterns of Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration Health and Safety Regulations in the Manufacturing Sector


  • Wayne B. Gray
  • Carol Adaire Jones


We examine the impact of Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforcement on compliance with agency regulations in the manufacturing sector, with a unique plant-level data set on inspections and compliance during 1972-83, the first 12 years of the agency. The analysis suggests that, for an individual plant, the effect of OSHA inspections during this period was to reduce the level of citations on average by 3.1-3.5, or approximately half of the first inspection average of 6.3 citations. The total effect on expected citations of OSHA inspections can be decomposed into two parts: evaluated at the mean of the sample predictions, half of the total reduction in citations occurred due to previous violators coming into compliance and half was due to a reduction in citations among plants that continued to violate the standards.

Suggested Citation

  • Wayne B. Gray & Carol Adaire Jones, 1991. "Longitudinal Patterns of Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration Health and Safety Regulations in the Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(4), pages 623-653.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:26:y:1991:i:4:p:623-653

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yoram Weiss & Reuben Gronau, 1981. "Expected Interruptions in Labour Force Participation and Sex-Related Differences in Earnings Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(4), pages 607-619.
    2. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 76-108, Part II, .
    3. Paula England, 1982. "The Failure of Human Capital Theory to Explain Occupational Sex Segregation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 358-370.
    4. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
    5. Steven H. Sandell & David Shapiro, 1980. "Work Expectations, Human Capital Accumulation, and the Wages of Young Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(3), pages 335-353.
    6. Polachek, Solomon William, 1975. "Differences in Expected Post-school Investments as a Determinant of Market Wage Differentials," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 451-470, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Earnhart, Dietrich & Segerson, Kathleen, 2012. "The influence of financial status on the effectiveness of environmental enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 670-684.
    3. Jorge Rivera & Jennifer Oetzel & Peter deLeon & Mark Starik, 2009. "Business responses to environmental and social protection policies: toward a framework for analysis," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 42(1), pages 3-32, February.
    4. Bauer, Thomas K. & Million, Andreas & Rotte, Ralph & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1998. "Immigration Labor and Workplace Safety," IZA Discussion Papers 16, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Fan, Di & Lo, Chris K.Y. & Ching, Vincent & Kan, C.W., 2014. "Occupational health and safety issues in operations management: A systematic and citation network analysis review," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 334-344.
    6. Juergen Jung & Michael D. Makowsky, 2012. "Regulatory Enforcement, Politics, and Institutional Distance: OSHA Inspections 1990-2010," Working Papers 2012-02, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2013.
    7. Juergen Jung & Michael Makowsky, 2014. "The determinants of federal and state enforcement of workplace safety regulations: OSHA inspections 1990–2010," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 1-33, February.
    8. Salisbury Daniel, 2013. "Trade controls and non-proliferation: compliance costs, drivers and challenges," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(4), pages 529-551, December.

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