Does Employer Monopsony Power Increase Occupational Accidents? The Case of Kentucky Coal Mines
A popular argument for safety regulations is that workers accept dangerous jobs because they have "no choice," or, in other words, because they have few or no alternative employment opportunities. This argument is considered in a game-theoretic framework. Because simultaneous-entry models do not yield pure-strategy equilibria, this paper develops a sequential-entry model to analyze the effect of additional firms on occupational safety. Within the context of the particular functional specification modeled, additional firms (except for the second entrant) lower average accident rates and thus increase occupational safety, consistent with the popular argument. However, with other functional specifications, the model could yield different results. As a result, the paper continues with an empirical investigation of the effect of monopsony power for a particular labor market -- nonunionized Kentucky coal mines in the later 70s -- a labor market which is likely to be particularly susceptible to monopsony. The empirical work shows that areas with many choices of alternative employers within easy driving distance do have lower accident rates. For this labor market, at least, when more alternative choices in the same occupation are offered, average occupational safety levels increase. Policies that improve occupational mobility and the competitiveness of labor markets, therefore, may simultaneously improve occupational safety.
|Date of creation:||Nov 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
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Schmalensee, Richard, 1979. "Market Structure, Durability, and Quality: A Selective Survey," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(2), pages 177-96, April.
- Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
- Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26.
- David Levhari & Yoram Peles, 1973. "Market Structure, Quality and Durability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(1), pages 235-248, Spring.
- Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
- W.J. Lane, 1980. "Product Differentiation in a Market with Endogenous Sequential Entry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 237-260, Spring.
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
- Kahn, Shulamit, 1987. "Occupational Safety and Workers Preferences: Is There a Marginal Worker?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(2), pages 262-68, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3897. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.