35 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2012 Last revised: 27 Apr 2013
Date Written: April 25, 2013
We explore the determinants of inspection outcomes across 1.6 million Occupational Safety and Health Agency audits from 1990 through 2010. We find that discretion in enforcement differs in state and federally conducted inspections. State agencies are more sensitive to local economic conditions, finding fewer standard violations and fewer serious violations as unemployment increases. Larger companies receive greater lenience in multiple dimensions. Inspector issued fines and final fines, after negotiated reductions, are both smaller during Republican presidencies. Quantile regression analysis reveals that Presidential and Congressional party affiliations have their greatest impact on the largest negotiated reductions in fines.
Keywords: regulation, enforcement, occupational safety, institutional differences
JEL Classification: K23, H73, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Makowsky, Michael D. and Jung, Juergen, The Determinants of Federal and State Enforcement of Workplace Safety Regulations: OSHA Inspections 1990-2010 (April 25, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2001203 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2001203