28Safety and economic activity

Eirik B. Abrahamsen, Frank Asche and Roy E. Dahl

1 Introduction

Are wealthier societies safer? It is well known that the opportunity cost of a worker depends on the worker’s skill set or human capital. Moreover, there is a trade-off between compensation and risk (Viscusi and Moore, 1987), so that a worker can be induced to take on riskier occupations if sufficiently compensated. Different countries have substantially different wealth and wage levels, suggesting that the human capital associated with each worker and possibly each citizen varies. This argument entails that the accident risk a person is exposed for to be smaller in wealthier countries as these will undertake larger investments in safety measures. However, ...

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