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Working Paper No. 8
The University of Chicago, Center for the Study of the Economy and the State, Chicago, IL
This paper examines one of the earlier regulations of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the 1973 Mattress Flammability Standard. It is found that the standard increased consumer safety by $1 million to $106 million (depending on parametric assumptions) at a minimum cost of between $5 million to $66 million. The unique aspect of this study is that in addition to these traditional cost/benefit calculations, an attempt is made to estimate the size and direction of income transfers associated with the standard. The data strongly indicate that there was a wealth redistribution from small to large mattress producers. Weaker evidence of income transfers between consumer categories is also presented.
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