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Speed limit laws in America: Economics, politics and geography

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Author Info

  • Daniel Albalate

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)

  • Germà Bel

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)

Abstract

The regulation of speed limits in the US had been centralized at the federal level since 1974, until decisions were devolved to the states in 1995. However, the centralization debate has reemerged in recent years. Here, we conduct the first econometric analysis of the determinants of speed limit laws. By using economic, geographic and political variables, our results suggest that geography -which affects private mobility needs and preferences- is the main factor influencing speed limit laws. We also highlight the role played by political ideology, with Republican constituencies being associated with higher speed limits. Furthermore, we identify the presence of regional and time dependence effects. By contrast, poor road safety outcomes do not impede the enactment of high speed limits. Overall, we present the first evidence of the role played by geographical, ideological and regional characteristics, which provide us with a better understanding of the formulation of speed limit policies.

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File URL: http://www.ub.edu/irea/working_papers/2010/201002.pdf
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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 201002.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision: Jan 2010
Handle: RePEc:ira:wpaper:201002

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

Keywords: Speed Limit Laws; Transport Policy; Social Preferences; Policy Analysis.;

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Republican constituencies have higher speed limits
    by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-03-03 10:00:24
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Jaume Belles-Sampera & José M. Merigó & Montserrat Guillén & Miguel Santolino, 2012. "The connection between distortion risk measures and ordered weighted averaging operators," IREA Working Papers 201201, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jan 2012.
  3. Ernest Miguélez & Rorina Moreno, 2012. "“What attracts knowledge workers? The role of space, social connections, institutions, jobs and amenities”," AQR Working Papers 201203, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Feb 2012.
  4. Jordi Perdiguero & Juan Luis Jiménez, 2012. "“Policy options for the promotion of electric vehicles: a review”," IREA Working Papers 201208, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Mar 2012.

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