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National road casualties and economic development

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Author Info

  • David Bishai

    (Department of Population and Family Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA)

  • Asma Quresh

    (Department of Population and Family Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA)

  • Prashant James

    (University of California at Irvine, USA)

  • Abdul Ghaffar

    (Global Forum for Health Research, Geneva, Switzerland)

Abstract

Objective: This paper explores why traffic fatalities increase with GDP per capita in lower income countries and decrease with GDP per capita in wealthy countries. Methods: Data from 41 countries for the period 1992-1996 were obtained on road transport crashes, injuries, and fatalities as well as numbers of vehicles, kilometers of roadway, oil consumption, population, and GDP. Fixed effects regression was used to control for unobservable heterogeneity among countries. Results: A 10% increase in GDP in a lower income country (GDP|Capita <1600) is expected to raise the number of crashes by 7.9%, the number of traffic injuries by 4.7%, and the number of deaths by 3.1% through a mechanism that is independent of population size, vehicle counts, oil use, and roadway availability. Increases in GDP in richer countries appear to reduce the number of traffic deaths, but do not reduce the number of crashes or injuries, all else equal. Greater petrol use and alcohol use are related to more traffic fatalities in rich countries, all else equal. Conclusion: In lower income countries a rise in traffic-related crashes, injuries, and deaths accompanies economic growth. At a threshold of around $1500-$8000 per capita economic growth no longer leads to additional traffic deaths, although crashes and traffic injuries continue to increase with growth. The negative association between GDP and traffic deaths in rich countries may be mediated by lower injury severity and post-injury ambulance transport and medical care. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1020
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 65-81

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:15:y:2006:i:1:p:65-81

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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References

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  1. Kopits, Elizabeth & Cropper, Maureen, 2003. "Traffic fatalities and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3035, The World Bank.
  2. Richard Tay, 2003. "Marginal Effects of Changing the Vehicle Mix on Fatal Crashes," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 37(3), pages 439-450, September.
  3. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  4. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1996. "Alcohol policies and highway vehicle fatalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 435-454, August.
  5. Susmita Dasgupta & Benoit Laplante & Hua Wang & David Wheeler, 2002. "Confronting the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 147-168, Winter.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Antonio Garc�a-ferrer & Aránzazu De Juan & Pilar Poncela, 2007. "The relationship between road traffic accidents and real economic activity in Spain: common cycles and health issues," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(6), pages 603-626.
  2. Yoshitsugu Kitazawa, 2010. "Size of economic activity and occurrence of fatal traffic accidents: a count panel data analysis on Fukuoka prefecture in Japan," Discussion Papers 41, Kyushu Sangyo University, Faculty of Economics.
  3. Grimm, M. & Treibich, C., 2010. "Socio-economic determinants of road traffic accident fatalities in low and middle income countries," ISS Working Papers - General Series 504, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  4. Michael T. French & Gulcin G. Gumus, 2013. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Motorcycle Fatalities in the U.S," Working Papers 2013-12, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  5. Michael Grimm & Carole Treibich, 2013. "Determinants Of Road Traffic Crash Fatalities Across Indian States," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(8), pages 915-930, 08.
  6. Mercedes Castro-Nuno & Jose I. Castillo-Manzano & Xavier Fageda, 2013. "The ?Europeanization? Of The Common Road Safety Policy: An Econometric Analysis," ERSA conference papers ersa13p50, European Regional Science Association.
  7. Matthew G. Nagler, 2013. "Does Social Capital Promote Safety On The Roads?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1218-1231, 04.
  8. José I. Castillo-Manzano & Mercedes Castro-Nuño & Xavier Fageda, 2014. "“Are traffic violators criminals? Searching for answers in experiences of European countries”," IREA Working Papers 201415, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised May 2014.

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