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Intended and Unintended Effects of Youth Bicycle Helmet Laws

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  • Christopher S. Carpenter
  • Mark F. Stehr

Abstract

Over 20 states have adopted laws requiring youths to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. We confirm previous research indicating that these laws reduced fatalities and increased helmet use, but we also show that the laws significantly reduced youth bicycling. We find this result in standard two-way fixed effects models of parental reports of youth bicycling, as well as in triple difference models of self-reported bicycling among high school youths that explicitly account for bicycling by youths just above the helmet law age threshold. Our results highlight important intended and unintended consequences of a well-intentioned public policy.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15658.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15658.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Publication status: published as “Intended and Unintended Consequences of Youth Bicy cle Helmet Laws” Christopher Carpenter and Mark Stehr, Journal of Law and Economics (2011) 54(2): 305-324.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15658

Note: CH HE LE
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References

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  1. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. " The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
  2. Carpenter, Christopher S. & Stehr, Mark, 2008. "The effects of mandatory seatbelt laws on seatbelt use, motor vehicle fatalities, and crash-related injuries among youths," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 642-662, May.
  3. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Jonathan Gruber & Jonathan Zinman, 2001. "Youth Smoking in the United States: Evidence and Implications," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 69-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Dee, Thomas S., 2009. "Motorcycle helmets and traffic safety," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 398-412, March.
  6. Carpenter, Christopher & Cook, Philip J., 2008. "Cigarette taxes and youth smoking: New evidence from national, state, and local Youth Risk Behavior Surveys," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 287-299, March.
  7. Darren Grant & Stephen M. Rutner, 2004. "The effect of bicycle helmet legislation on bicycling fatalities," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 595-611.
  8. Dee, Thomas S. & Grabowski, David C. & Morrisey, Michael A., 2005. "Graduated driver licensing and teen traffic fatalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 571-589, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Hristos Doucouliagos & T.D. Stanley & Margaret Giles, 2011. "Are Estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life Exaggerated?," Economics Series 2011_2, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  2. Dee, Thomas S., 2009. "Motorcycle helmets and traffic safety," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 398-412, March.

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