The Impact of Team Inspections on Enforcement and Deterrence



Aug. 14, 2015


Lucija Muehlenbachs, Stefan Staubli, and Mark A. Cohen


Working Paper

Reading time

1 minute

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 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.


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