Hazardous Occupations Within the Job Hierarchy

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Abstract

Firms using hazardous technologies face strong incentives to reduce job skill and training requirements so as to minimize the level of compensating wage differentials they must pay. This note examines the outcome of this process in terms of the location of hazardous occupations within the overall structure of jobs. Using four independent sources of data for the period 1974 to 1982, hazardous Occupations are found to offer significantly less worker autonomy, less on-the-job training, poorer promotion possibilities, greater risk of temporary and permanent layoff, and lower wage levels than safe occupations.

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