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Political Economy at Any Speed: What Determines Traffic Citations?

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Author Info

  • Michael D. Makowsky
  • Thomas Stratmann

Abstract

Speeding tickets are determined not only by the speed of the offender, but also by incentives faced by police officers and their vote-maximizing principals. We hypothesize that police officers issue fines more frequently when drivers have a higher opportunity cost of contesting a ticket, and when drivers are not residents of the local municipality. We also predict that local officers are more likely to issue a ticket to out-of-town drivers when fiscal conditions are tight and legal limits prevent increases in property taxes. Using data from traffic stops in Massachusetts, we find support for our hypotheses. (JEL H76, R41)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.99.1.509
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 509-27

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:1:p:509-27

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.1.509
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Traffic fines, safety and revenue
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-05-25 12:41:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Sarah Marx Quintanar, . "Do Driver Decisions in Traffic Court Motivate Police Discrimination in Issuing Speeding Tickets?," Departmental Working Papers 2011-13, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  2. Arguedas, Carmen & Rousseau, Sandra, 2012. "Learning about compliance under asymmetric information," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 55-73.
  3. Michael D. Makowsky & Thomas Stratmann, 2011. "More Tickets, Fewer Accidents: How Cash-Strapped Towns Make for Safer Roads," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 863 - 888.
  4. Dara N. Lee, 2011. "Do Traffic Tickets Reduce Motor Vehicle Accidents? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Papers 1119, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 17 Jan 2012.
  5. Sarah Marx Quintanar, . "Man vs. Machine: An Investigation of Speeding Ticket Disparities Based on Gender and Race," Departmental Working Papers 2009-16, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  6. Makowsky, Michael & Sanders, Shane, 2013. "Political costs and fiscal benefits: The political economy of residential property value assessment under Proposition 212," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 359-363.
  7. Arguedas, Carmen & Earnhart, Dietrich & Rousseau, Sandra, 2013. "Effluent Limits, Ambient Quality, and Monitoring," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2013/08, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  8. Hasebe, Takuya & Vijverberg, Wim P., 2012. "A Flexible Sample Selection Model: A GTL-Copula Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 7003, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Lu, Xun & White, Halbert, 2014. "Robustness checks and robustness tests in applied economics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(P1), pages 194-206.
  10. Juergen Jung & Michael D. Makowsky, 2012. "Regulatory Enforcement, Politics, and Institutional Distance: OSHA Inspections 1990-2010," Working Papers 2012-02, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2013.

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  1. Economic Logic blog

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