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Workers' Risk Underestimation And Occupational Health And Safety Regulation

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Executive Summary

The standard treatment of occupational risk in the labour market is conducted in terms of the theory of compensating wage differentials, the basic characteristic of which is that workers can fully estimate actual occupational risks. However, research in cognitive psychology, and recent advances in economic psychology, suggest that individuals consistently underestimate risks associated with accidents. In this paper, the authors discuss the case when the workers systematically underestimate job risks. After presenting the standard treatment of occupational risks, and of health and safety at work regulation, they then proceed to incorporate the idea of job risk underestimation.

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