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Regulatory Enforcement, Politics, and Institutional Distance: OSHA Inspections 1990-2010

Juergen Jung () and Michael Makowsky ()

No 2012-02, Working Papers from Towson University, Department of Economics

Abstract: 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. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K23 H73 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-reg
Date: 2012-02, Revised 2013-04
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