Discussion Paper

The Impact of Team Inspections on Enforcement and Deterrence

Aug 14, 2015 | Lucija Anna Muehlenbachs, Stefan Staubli, Mark A Cohen


This paper provides new insights into the productivity of teams. Government enforcement agencies often send teams of inspectors instead of a sole inspector to a regulated facility. Yet, determining the impact of teams is problematic due to endogeneity as the enforcement agency might naturally send larger teams when they expect a higher likelihood of violations. Exploiting exogenous variation in the number of inspectors that are sent to o shore oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, we find that adding an inspector to a team does not simply result in more detected violations, it also increases the severity of sanctions imposed on those violations that are detected.