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Traffic Congestion and Accident Externality: A Japan-U.S. Comparison

  • Saito Kuniyoshi


    (Tezukayama University)

  • Kato Takaaki


    (University of Kitakyushu)

  • Shimane Tetsuya


    (Tokyo Institute of Technology)

We measure the accident externality from driving in the spirit of Edlin and Karaca-Mandic (2006). We collect data that parallel those used in Edlin and Karaca-Mandic and apply their empirical method to gain further insights about the accident externality. Consistent with Edlin and Karaca-Mandic, we find larger external costs for higher density roads, although the sizes largely depend on the variable definition and the model specification. One intriguing result is that per-vehicle external costs are considerably smaller in Japan than those in the U.S. In Kyoto, for example, an additional driver increases accident costs for other drivers by $248--$802, while it is $1,725--$2,432 in California where the traffic density is approximately the same. However, on a per-mile basis, much closer externalities are obtained. This finding indicates that the large externality in high-density roads underscored in Edlin and Karaca-Mandic is partly attributed to the fact that U.S. drivers drive longer distances, comparatively speaking.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 10 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-31

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:10:y:2010:i:1:n:14
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