Quantitative analysis of fatal accident rates in coal mining in the early 1900s offers several insights about the extent of competition in the coal labor market and the effectiveness of legislative reforms. Miners were mobile enough to limit their labor supply to more dangerous mines. Miners' incomes were apparently high enough that they were not forced to "gamble" their lives more when wages were cut. Unionization raised wages but did not lower accident rates. Progressive Era reforms-including state mining laws, workers' compensation legislation, and the formation of the U.S. Bureau of Mines-generally had insignificant impact on mine safety.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics