Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The cost-effectiveness of a law banning the use of cellular phones by drivers


Author Info

  • Daniel Sperber

    (Population Health Intervention Research Centre, University of Calgary, Canada)

  • Alan Shiell

    (Population Health Intervention Research Centre, University of Calgary, Canada)

  • Ken Fyie

    (Population Health Intervention Research Centre, University of Calgary, Canada)

Registered author(s):


    Objective: To assess the cost-effectiveness of a law banning the use of cellular phones by drivers in the Canadian province of Alberta. Method: Cost-effectiveness analysis using a probabilistic decision-analytic model and publicly available data. We adopted a societal perspective. Health gains were measured in terms of quality-adjusted life-years. Costs include those associated with awareness raising, enforcement and the welfare loss associated with the reduction in cellular phone use, less savings in health care and other costs associated with automobile accidents. Results: A ban promotes health and releases resources worth more than the costs. There is an 80% chance that a ban will be 'cost saving', and a 94% chance that a ban will cost less than Can$50 000|QALY. The results are sensitive to the additional risk posed by cellular phone use while driving, and the rate and pattern with which drivers comply with a ban. Conclusion: Under our base line assumptions a cellular phone ban is likely to be cost saving from a societal perspective. The results are sensitive to parameters for which there is very little information or for which the available information is contradictory. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 10 ()
    Pages: 1212-1225

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:19:y:2010:i:10:p:1212-1225

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Related research



    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Peter D. Loeb & William A. Clarke & Richard Anderson, 2007. "The Impact of Cell Phones and BAC Laws on Motor Vehicle Fatality Rates," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2007-003, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
    2. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
    3. Iimi, Atsushi, 2005. "Estimating demand for cellular phone services in Japan," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 3-23, February.
    4. Jerry A. Hausman, 1997. "Valuing the Effect of Regulation on New Services in Telecommunications," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1997 Micr), pages 1-54.
    5. Hahn, Robert W. & Prieger, James E., 2004. "The Impact of Driver Cell Phone Use on Accidents," Working paper 68, Regulation2point0.
    6. Bhargava, Saurabh & Pathania, Vikram, 2007. "Driving Under the (Cellular) Influence: The Link Between Cell Phone Use and Vehicle Crashes," Working paper 549, Regulation2point0.
    7. Hahn, Robert W. & Tetlock, Paul C., 1999. "The Economics of Regulating Cellular Phones in Vehicles," Working paper 526, Regulation2point0.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)



    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:19:y:2010:i:10:p:1212-1225. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.