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Lowering blood alcohol content levels to save lives: The European experience

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  • Daniel Albalate

    (University of Barcelona, Spain)

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    Abstract

    Road safety is of increasing concern in developed countries because of the significant number of deaths and large economic losses. One tool commonly used by governments to deal with road accidents is the enactment of stricter policies and regulations. Drunk driving is one of the leading concerns in this field and several European countries have decided to lower their illegal Blood Alcohol Content levels to 0.5 mg|ml over the last decade. This study uses European panel-based data (CARE) for the period 1991-2003 for the first time to evaluate the effectiveness of this transition by applying the differences-in-differences method in a fixed effects estimation that allows for any pattern of correlation (Cluster-Robust). The results show positive policy impacts, particularly on certain groups of victims, such as young males in urban zones. However, there are reasons to expect a short lag in that effectiveness. © 2008 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.20305
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 20-39

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:27:y:2008:i:1:p:20-39

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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    1. Brent D. Mast & Bruce L. Benson & David W. Rasmussen, 1999. "Beer Taxation and Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 214-249, October.
    2. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1995. "Economic conditions and alcohol problems," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 583-603, December.
    3. Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 83-120, February.
    4. Mathijssen, M.P.M., 2005. "Drink driving policy and road safety in the Netherlands: a retrospective analysis," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 395-408, September.
    5. Saffer, Henry & Grossman, Michael, 1987. "Drinking Age Laws and Highway Mortality Rates: Cause and Effect," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 403-17, July.
    6. Dee, Thomas S. & Sela, Rebecca J., 2003. "The fatality effects of highway speed limits by gender and age," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 401-408, June.
    7. Daniel Eisenberg, 2003. "Evaluating the effectiveness of policies related to drunk driving," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 249-274.
    8. Vollrath, M. & Krüger, H.-P. & Löbmann, R., 2005. "Driving under the influence of alcohol in Germany and the effect of relaxing the BAC law," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 377-393, September.
    9. Young, Douglas J. & Likens, Thomas W., 2000. "Alcohol Regulation and Auto Fatalities," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 107-126, March.
    10. 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.
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    Cited by:
    1. Daniel Albalate, 2013. "The Road against Fatalities: Infrastructure Spending vs. Regulation?," ERSA conference papers ersa13p221, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Daniel Albalate & Germa Bel, 2008. "Motorways, tolls and road safety.Evidence from European Panel Data," IREA Working Papers 200802, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Feb 2008.
    3. 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.

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