The Impact of Occupational Safety and Health Regulation, 1973-1983
Viscusi, W. Kip
Using a sample of manufacturing industries from 1973 to 1983, this article reexamines OSHA's impact on workplace safety. Evidence supporting OSHA's effectiveness is stronger than that presented in most previous studies but remains quite mixed. Only for the incidence of lost workday injuries and illnesses is there evidence of a statistically significant OSHA impact for an equation that is stable over the 1973-1983 period. The magnitude of the effect is modest, and the effect is not robust with respect to different risk variables. For the three risk variables examined, there is no evidence of endogeneity of the contemporaneous OSHA enforcement variable.