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Warning, Learning and Compliance: Evidence from Micro-data on Driving Behavior

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Author Info

  • Marcello Basili

    ()

  • Filippo Belloc

    ()

  • Simona Benedettini

    ()

  • Antonio Nicita

    ()

Abstract

In many contexts, warning systems of law enforcement are used to let uninformed individuals learn what is illegal, while sanctions are applied only after a number of repeated violations. Surprisingly no em- pirical evidence is available so far, over the learning impact of warnings. This paper is a first attempt to empirically investigate the warning’s effect on individuals’ behavior employing a unique database on a traffic law enforcement system, which constitutes an extraordinary nat- ural laboratory to test whether experience warning induces learning. Specifically, we use six-year longitudinal data on about 50000 drivers under the Italian point-record system of traffic law. Our statistical re- sults show that warned drivers become more compliant. To the extent individuals learn through their repeated behavior, a warning system makes it possible to apply sanctions only to (presumably) informed violators.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 639.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:639

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Keywords: warning; law enforcement; mixture models;

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References

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  1. Nyborg, Karine & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The role of warnings in regulation: keeping control with less punishment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2801-2816, December.
  2. Jean-Marc Bourgeon & Pierre Picard, 2007. "Point-record driving licence and road safety : an economic approach," Post-Print hal-00243024, HAL.
  3. Jean Pinquet & Georges Dionne & Charles Vanasse & Mathieu Maurice, 2009. "Incentive Mechanisms for Safe Driving: A Comparative Analysis with Dynamic Data," Working Papers hal-00414479, HAL.
  4. Rousseau, Sandra, 2009. "The use of warnings in the presence of errors," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 191-201, September.
  5. Kaplow, Louis, 1990. "Optimal Deterrence, Uninformed Individuals, and Acquiring Information about Whether Acts Are Subject to Sanctions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 93-128, Spring.
  6. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
  7. Garvie, Devon & Keeler, Andrew, 1994. "Incomplete enforcement with endogenous regulatory choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 141-162, September.
  8. Heyes, Anthony & Rickman, Neil, 1999. "Regulatory dealing - revisiting the Harrington paradox," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 361-378, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Josef Montag, 2013. "A Radical Change in Traffic Law: Effects on Fatalities in the Czech Republic," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp484, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.

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