Risk without reward: The myth of wage compensation for hazardous work

Peter Dorman, Evergreen State College, and Les Boden, Boston University

A small but dedicated group of economists, legal theorists, and political thinkers has promoted the argument that little if any labor market regulation is required to ensure the proper level of protection for occupational safety and health (OSH), because workers are fully compensated by higher wages for the risks they face on the job and that markets alone are sufficient to ensure this outcome.