Varieties of Risk Regulation in Europe: How Different Countries Address the Problem of Trade-Offs in Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
For example, the analysis shows that while Germany and France may like to portray the Anglo-Saxon practice of explicitly valuing life in regulation as a cultural anathema, those countries instead put a price on life through their highly interventionist social insurance regimes. Indeed, while the strong social insurance regimes of co-ordinated market economies may favour getting workers back to work, the more explicit risk-based regulatory focus of liberal market economies may favour preventing accidents and ill-health in the first place. Likewise, national legal traditions are important because they significantly shape the meaning attached to headline regulatory goals and the way in which they are implemented by regulators and are interpreted by the courts. Thus an ambitious regulatory goal of safety in a civil law jurisdiction will have very different set of legal implications to a similar goal in common law jurisdictions.
As such, the article identifies a novel set of institutional factors to explain risk regulation variety that are little to do with principled differences between Anglo-Saxon neo-liberalism and other varieties of capitalism about the morality of valuing life or the need to be more pro-growth or pro-worker. Rather risk regulation variety reflects deep institutional differences in national European political economies and philosophies of regulation, some of which pre-date the birth of capitalism itself.