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The Impact of Workplace Conditions on Firm Performance

Author

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  • Sebastian Buhai

    () (University of Aarhus, and Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Elena Cottini

    () (University of Aarhus, and Cath. University Milan)

  • Niels Westergård-Nielsen

    () (University of Aarhus)

Abstract

This paper estimates the impact of work environment health and safety practice on firm performance, and examines which firm-characteristic factors are associated with good work conditions. We use Danish longitudinal register matched employer-employee data, merged with firm business accounts and detailed cross-sectional survey data on workplace conditions. This enables us to address typical econometric problems such as omitted variables bias or endogeneity in estimating i) standard production functions augmented with work environment indicators and aggregate employee characteristics and ii) firm mean wage regressions on the same explanatory variables. Our findings suggest that improvement in some of the physical dimensions of the work health and safety environment (specifically, “internal climate” and “repetitive and strenuous activity”) strongly impacts the firm productivity, whereas “internal climate” problems are the only workplace hazards compensated for by higher mean wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Buhai & Elena Cottini & Niels Westergård-Nielsen, 2008. "The Impact of Workplace Conditions on Firm Performance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-077/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20080077
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    Cited by:

    1. Melanie K. Jones & Paul L. Latreille & Peter J. Sloane, 2016. "Job Anxiety, Work-Related Psychological Illness and Workplace Performance," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 54(4), pages 742-767, December.
    2. Merja Kauhanen & Jouko Nätti, 2015. "Involuntary Temporary and Part-Time Work, Job Quality and Well-Being at Work," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 120(3), pages 783-799, February.
    3. Annalisa Cristini & Tor Eriksson & Dario Pozzoli, 2013. "High-Performance Management Practices and Employee Outcomes in Denmark," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(3), pages 232-266, July.
    4. Jones, Melanie K & Latreille, Paul L & Sloane, Peter J, 2011. "NILS Working paper no 180. Job anxiety, work-related psychological illness and workplace performance," NILS Working Papers 26078, National Institute of Labour Studies.
    5. Petri Böckerman & Pekka Ilmakunnas, 2012. "The Job Satisfaction-Productivity Nexus: A Study Using Matched Survey and Register Data," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(2), pages 244-262, April.
    6. Cottini, Elena & Kato, Takao & Westergaard-Nielsen, Niels, 2011. "Adverse workplace conditions, high-involvement work practices and labor turnover: Evidence from Danish linked employer–employee data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 872-880.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    occupational health and safety; work environment; production function estimation; firm performance; compensating wage differentials;

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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