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Sample Selection In The Estimation Of Air Bag And Seat Belt Effectiveness

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  • Steven D. Levitt
  • Jack Porter

Abstract

Because data are collected for only fatal crashes, it is difficult to accurately measure seat belt and air bag effectiveness. The use of safety devices influences survival rates which in turn determine whether a crash is included in the sample, leading to sample selection bias. We propose a simple solution to the selection problem: limiting the sample to crashes in which someone in a different vehicle dies. Empirically, we find seat belts more effective and air bags to be less effective than previously found. The cost per life saved through seat belts is approximately $30,000, compared to $1.8 million for air bags. © 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 83 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 603-615

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:83:y:2001:i:4:p:603-615

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  1. Lave, Charles & Elias, Patrick, 1997. "Resource Allocation in Public Policy: The Effects of the 65-MPH Speed Limit," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 614-20, July.
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  5. Steven D. Levitt & Jack Porter, 1999. "Estimating the Effect of Alcohol on Driver Risk Using Only Fatal Accident Statistics," NBER Working Papers 6944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  7. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  8. Michael Grossman & Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Saffer & Adit Laixuthai, 1993. "Effects of Alcohol Price Policy on Youth," NBER Working Papers 4385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa & Mariatiziana Falcone, 2010. "The Deterrent Effects of Penalty Point System in Driving Licenses: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," Working Papers 201004, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  2. Bae, Yong-Kyun, 2011. "Primary Seat Belt Laws and Offsetting Behavior: Empirical Evidence from Individual Accident Data," MPRA Paper 30443, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Antonio Nicita & Simona Benedettini, 2012. "The Costs of Avoiding Accidents.Selective Compliance and the 'Peltzman Effect' in Italy," Department of Economics University of Siena 631, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  4. Makowsky, Michael & Thomas, Stratmann, 2008. "More Tickets, Fewer Accidents: How Cash-Strapped Towns Make for Safer Roads," MPRA Paper 14360, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Abay, Kibrom A. & Paleti, Rajesh & Bhat, Chandra R., 2013. "The joint analysis of injury severity of drivers in two-vehicle crashes accommodating seat belt use endogeneity," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 74-89.
  6. Garcia-Serrano, Carlos & Hernanz, Virginia & Toharia, Luis, 2008. "Mind the gap, please! The effect of temporary help agencies on the consequences of work accidents," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-28, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  7. Brozovic, Nicholas & Ando, Amy Whritenour, 2009. "Defensive purchasing, the safety (dis)advantage of light trucks, and motor-vehicle policy effectiveness," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 477-493, June.
  8. Parry, Ian W. H., 2004. "Comparing alternative policies to reduce traffic accidents," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 346-368, September.
  9. Clifford Winston & Vikram Maheshri & Fred Mannering, 2006. "An exploration of the offset hypothesis using disaggregate data: The case of airbags and antilock brakes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 83-99, March.
  10. Cohen, Alma & Dehejia, Rajeev, 2004. "The Effect of Automobile Insurance and Accident Liability Laws on Traffic Fatalities," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 357-93, October.
  11. Bae, Yong-Kyun, 2013. "Primary Seat-Belt Laws and Driver Behavior: Evidence from Accident Data," MPRA Paper 49823, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Sep 2013.
  12. Laurent Linnemer, 2012. "Compte rendu d'ouvrage -La société des inconnus : Histoire naturelle de la collectivité humaine," Post-Print hal-00939396, HAL.
  13. Henrik Andersson, 2005. "The Value of Safety as Revealed in the Swedish Car Market: An Application of the Hedonic Pricing Approach," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 211-239, May.
  14. Bande, Roberto & López-Mourelo, Elva, 2014. "The impact of worker’s age on the consequences of occupational accidents: empirical evidence using Spanish data," MPRA Paper 53097, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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