Regulation by Shaming: Deterrence Effects of Publicizing Violations of Workplace Safety and Health Laws
AbstractPublicizing firms' socially undesirable actions may enhance firms' incentives to avoid such actions. In 2009, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began issuing press releases about facilities that violated safety and health regulations. Using quasi-random variation arising from a cutoff rule OSHA followed, I find that publicizing a facility's violations led other facilities to substantially improve their compliance and experience fewer occupational injuries. OSHA would need to conduct 210 additional inspections to achieve the same improvement in compliance as achieved with a single press release. Evidence suggests that employers improve compliance to avoid costly responses from workers.
CitationJohnson, Matthew S. 2020. "Regulation by Shaming: Deterrence Effects of Publicizing Violations of Workplace Safety and Health Laws." American Economic Review, 110 (6): 1866-1904. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20180501
- J28 Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
- J81 Labor Standards: Working Conditions
- K32 Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
- L51 Economics of Regulation
- M54 Personnel Economics: Labor Management