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

  • Wayne B. Gray
  • Carol Adaire Jones

We examine the impact of OSHA enforcement on company compliance with agency regulations in the manufacturing sector, with a unique plant-level data set of inspection and compliance behavior during 1972-1983, the first twelve years of the agency operation. The analysis suggests that, for an individual inspected plant, the average effect of OSHA inspections during this period was to reduce expected citations by 3.0 or by .36 s.d. The total effect on expected citations of additional inspections can be decomposed into two parts; evaluated at the mean of the sample, 59 percent of the total change in citations occurred due to an increase in the compliance rate; 41 percent was due to a reduction in citations among continuing violators.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3213.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3213.

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Date of creation: Dec 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Human Resources, Volume 26, Number 4, Fall 1991.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3213
Note: LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. Greene, William H, 1981. "On the Asymptotic Bias of the Ordinary Least Squares Estimator of the Tobit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(2), pages 505-13, March.
  2. Robert Stewart Smith, 1979. "The Impact of OSHA Inspections on Manufacturing Injury Rates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(2), pages 145-170.
  3. 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.
  4. David P. McCaffrey, 1983. "An Assessment of Osha's Recent Effects on Injury Rates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(1), pages 131-146.
  5. McDonald, John F & Moffitt, Robert A, 1980. "The Uses of Tobit Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 318-21, May.
  6. Louise B. Russell, 1974. "Safety Incentives in Workmen's Compensation Insurance," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 9(3), pages 361-375.
  7. Bartel, Ann P & Thomas, Lacy Glenn, 1985. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Regulation: A New Look at OSHA's Impact," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-25, April.
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