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Research From A.D. Morantz And Co-Authors Provides New Data About Law And Economics

Publication Date: 
May 17, 2009
Insurance Business Weekly Via

Scholarship authored by Professor Alison D. Morantz is referenced in an article in Insurance Business Weekly about state and federal enforcement of work place safety laws. Insurance Business Weekly quotes from Morantz's journal article which was published in the Journal of Law Economics & Organization:

According to a study from the United States, "Although the issue of regulatory devolution has received much scholarly scrutiny, rigorous empirical studies of its effects on important policy outcomes are scarce. This article explores the effects of partial regulatory devolution in the occupational safety arena by exploiting a unique historical anomaly whereby some US states enforce protective labor regulations that are enforced elsewhere by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration."

"Analyzing data from the construction industry, this article contains several important findings. First, state inspectors use traditional enforcement tools more sparingly than their federal counterparts, typically citing fewer violations and collecting lower fines per violation. Second, although federal enforcement significantly lowers the estimated frequency of nonfatal construction injuries, it also predicts a significant increase in occupational fatalities," wrote A.D. Morantz and colleagues.

The researchers concluded: "I suggest that although higher underreporting of nonfatal injuries in federally regulated states could explain this puzzling finding, it is equally possible that different regulatory styles have different ''comparative advantages'' in deterring nonfatal injuries on one hand and occupational fatalities on the other. (JEL D73, D78, H73, I18, J08, J28, J88, K00, K23, K31, K32, L51, and L74)."

Morantz and colleagues published the results of their research in the Journal of Law Economics & Organization (Has Devolution Injured American Workers? State and Federal Enforcement of Construction Safety Journal of Law Economics & Organization, 2009;25(1):183-210).

For additional information, contact A.D. Morantz, Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA, USA.