Incentives in Swedish work environment regulation
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This paper explores the incentives in the two cornerstones of the regulatory effort: the legislative decisions on specific regulations and the day-to-day activities of the officials at the Labour Inspectorate. It is argued that there have been and probably will continue to be pro-safety incentives at the legislative level. Until 1992, representatives of employers' and employees' organizations were in the majority when decisions were taken on regulations but they have now been replaced by individually appointed laymen. In both types of regulatory bodies, the involvement of government officials tips the balance in favour of reducing occupational hazards. The enforcement level is analysed as a bargaining game between the individual inspector and a company. Here there are overwhelming incentives to delay investments in work environment quality. Legal sanctions will seldom be used and there may be almost infinite bargaining. The total regulatory effort may therefore have quite small effects on occupational safety and health.