Agency Structure and Firm Culture: OSHA, EPA, and the Steel Industry

Posted: 23 Jun 2008

See all articles by Mary E. Deily

Mary E. Deily

Independent

Wayne B. Gray

Clark University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: October 2007

Abstract

We compare models of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforcement and compliance for steel plants during the 1980s. We find that OSHA and EPA respond similarly to plant-level compliance and measures of hazardousness, but differently to firm-level compliance and risks of plant closing, and we relate the differences to the agencies' differing organizational structures. Plant-level compliance is affected by enforcement pressure, compliance costs, and the firm's overall compliance behavior in similar ways for the two regulatory areas, but environmental compliance was also sensitive to plant size and risk of closing. Finally, we find that the likelihood that a plant was in compliance with one agency seemed at most weakly related to whether it was in compliance with the other, but that plants likely to receive enforcement attention from one agency were also more likely to receive enforcement attention from the other agency.

Suggested Citation

Deily, Mary E. and Gray, Wayne B., Agency Structure and Firm Culture: OSHA, EPA, and the Steel Industry (October 2007). The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization, Vol. 23, Issue 3, pp. 685-709, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1150023 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jleo/ewm018

Wayne B. Gray

Clark University - Department of Economics ( email )

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