Does Sunlight Kill Germs? Stock Market Listing and Workplace Safety

Claire Liang; Yaxuan Qi, Rengong (Alex) Zhang, and Haoran Zhu

This study highlights the positive impact of a stock market listing on workplace safety. We find that workplace injuries in publicly listed firms are lower than those in comparable private firms, and this effect relates to heightened monitoring by the media and regulators. The media pays more attention to public firms’ safety issues than to those of private firms, and the reduced media scrutiny due to local newspaper closures leads to greater increases in injuries in public firms. Regulators also monitor public firms more strictly, evidenced by a higher likelihood of nonroutine inspections and larger penalties for detected violations.