Offsetting Behavior in the Workplace

29 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2003

See all articles by Jonathan Klick

Jonathan Klick

University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Thomas Stratmann

George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy; George Mason University - Mercatus Center; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: April 14, 2003

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of workplace safety regulations on worker safety. Studies in this area must overcome the issue that regulations and worker safety are jointly determined and that regulatory resources are likely to focus on the worst offenders. We examine the effects of regulatory enforcement in the 1990s on occupational death rates by state in major industries, and propose an instrumental variables technique to isolate the causal effect of regulatory enforcement on worker safety. We find that more inspections lead to higher death rates at a statistically significant level. This counter-intuitive result suggests that increased worker safety measures induce riskier behaviors on the part of workers.

Keywords: OSHA, Safety, Labor Regulation, Offsetting Behavior

Suggested Citation

Klick, Jonathan and Stratmann, Thomas, Offsetting Behavior in the Workplace (April 14, 2003). George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 03-19, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=397822 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.397822

Jonathan Klick (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

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Erasmus School of Law ( email )

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Thomas Stratmann

George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy ( email )

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George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.mercatus.org/scholars/thomas-stratmann

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Germany

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