Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Michael H. Belzer


Chapter 1 reviews the literature which analyzes the effect of compensation and work conditions on safety and health.

Chapter 2 analyzes how truck drivers’ compensation affects their safety performance, using moving violations as a proxy for safety. In addition to drivers’ pay per mile driven, we employ fringe benefits as independent variables. The result suggests that the rate of pay per mile driven, and employment-based health insurance, significantly decrease the probability of moving violations. The result provides support for the hypothesis that high compensation for drivers improve drivers’ safety performance, though other forms of compensation are not significantly related to the incidence of moving violations.

Chapter 3 analyzes how truck drivers’ working conditions affect health. We use hypertension as a proxy for health. Hypertension is a common illness among commercial motor vehicle drivers, including long-haul truck drivers. Few studies analyze how working conditions, including wages and work hours, might lead to hypertension among long-haul truck drivers. We hypothesize that long-haul truck drivers’ hypertension is due to excessive work hours rather than age or BMI. Using a multinomial logit model, we find that that longer work hours are associated with a higher probability of suffering from hypertension, as expected. However, drivers who take medication for hypertension also work fewer hours per week, suggesting that they are proactive in reducing their work intensity as well as taking their medicine in order to combat this illness. Since drivers face trade-off between income and health, drivers who take medication for hypertension also seem to accept lower overall earnings by working fewer hours in order to forestall worsening hypertension.

Chapter 4 In the trucking industry, truck drivers’ duties include not only driving trucks but also non-driving labor. However, non-driving work is not necessarily paid. This paper analyzes how the payment for non-driving duties (non-driving pay) affects truck drivers’ work hours. This study finds that remunerating drivers for non-driving duties decreases drivers’ work hours. The policy implication of this result is that paying non-driving pay can prevent drivers from working excessively long hours, which may mitigate fatigue. Thus, pay for non-driving labor may possibly enhance their safety and health.

Chapter 5 is the conclusion.

Included in

Economics Commons