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Job hazards and job security

  • Author(s): Robinson, James C;
  • et al.

This paper studies the link between occupational health hazards and job security. Consistent with the underlying hypothesis that firms utilizing hazardous technologies tend to employ low-skilled workers who can be discharged easily in case of a downturn in business, the analysis indicates that workers in hazardous positions are more likely to face involuntary job loss than are those in safe positions. These workers may be particularly sensitive to political arguments that efforts to reduce exposure to toxins in the workplace and the general environment are responsible for layoffs and plant closures. The paper discusses policy alternatives that could reduce the impact of health regulations on job security.

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