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Lowering blood alcohol content levels to save lives, the european experience

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Author Info

  • Daniel Albalate

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona.)

Abstract

Road safety has become an increasing concern in developed countries due to the significant amount of mortal victims and the economic losses derived. Only in 2005 these losses rose to 200.000 million euros, a significant amount – approximately the 2% of its GDP- that easily justifies any public intervention. One tool used by governments to face this challenge is the enactment of stricter policies and regulations. Since drunk driving is one of the most important concerns of public authorities on this field, several European countries decided to lower their illegal Blood Alcohol Content levels to 0.5 mg/ml during the last decade. This study evaluates for the first time the effectiveness of this transition using European panel-based data (CARE) for the period 1991-2003 using the Differences-in-Differences method in a fixed effects estimation that allows for any pattern of correlation (Cluster-Robust). My results show the existence of positive impacts on certain groups of road users and for the whole population when the policy is accompanied by some enforcement interventions. Moreover, a time lag of more than two years is found in that effectiveness. Finally, I also assert the importance of controlling for serial correlation in the evaluation of this kind of policies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics in its series IREA Working Papers with number 200603.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision: Dec 2006
Handle: RePEc:ira:wpaper:200603

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Postal: Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, Num 1-11 08034 Barcelona
Web page: http://www.ub.edu/irea/
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Related research

Keywords: Road Safety; Policy Evaluation; Differences-in-Differences; Drunk Driving; Illegal Blood Alcohol Content Levels (BAC).;

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References

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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  2. Henry Saffer, 1994. "Alcohol Advertising and Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 4708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Reagan Baughman & Michael Conlin & Stacy Dickert-Conlin & John Pepper, 2000. "Slippery When Wet: The Effects of Local Alcohol Access Laws on Highway Safety," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 31, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  5. Patrick McCarthy, 2003. "Alcohol-related crashes and alcohol availability in grass-roots communities," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(11), pages 1331-1338.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1994. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," NBER Working Papers 4956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1995. "Alcohol Policies and Highway Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 5195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The Number All Drivers Should Know
    by (author unknown) in The Numbers Guy on 2009-06-10 01:49:47
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Cited by:
  1. Anna Matas Prats & José Luís Raymond Bara & José Luís Raymond Bara, 2008. "Job accessibility and employment probability," Working Papers XREAP2008-05, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised May 2008.
  2. Christian Durán Weitkamp & Mónica Martín Bofarull & Federico Pablo Martí, 2008. "Economic effects of road accessibility in the Pyrenees: user perspective," Working Papers XREAP2008-01, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Jan 2008.
  3. Antonio Manresa & Ferran Sancho, 2012. "Leontief versus Ghosh: two faces of the same coin," Working Papers XREAP2012-18, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Oct 2012.
  4. Juan Luis Jiménez & Jordi Perdiguero, 2012. "“Mergers and difference-in-difference estimator: why firms do not increase prices?”," IREA Working Papers 201205, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Feb 2012.

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