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Decomposing the Relationship between Macroeconomic Conditions and Fatal Car Crashes during the Great Recession: Alcohol- and Non-Alcohol-Related Accidents

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  • Cotti Chad

    () (University of Wisconsin Oshkosh)

  • Tefft Nathan

    () (Bates College)

Abstract

This paper investigates to what extent and in what ways conditions related to the 2007-2008 recession reduced fatal crashes. It hypothesizes that the reduction in fatal automobile accidents operates through both the quantity of driving and changes in behaviors associated with driving. Using state-by-quarter fixed effects models, the study shows that unemployment rate increases significantly reduce fatal accidents. Decomposing the fatal accident rate into accidents per mile traveled and miles traveled per capita reveals that higher unemployment is significantly associated with fewer accidents per mile, and also reveals that fatal accidents associated with alcohol are more responsive to unemployment rate changes than are accidents overall. These results suggest that the recession’s “lost” fatal accidents occurred in areas hit harder by the recession and were in the form of fewer alcohol-related accidents per mile traveled rather than fewer miles traveled overall.

Suggested Citation

  • Cotti Chad & Tefft Nathan, 2011. "Decomposing the Relationship between Macroeconomic Conditions and Fatal Car Crashes during the Great Recession: Alcohol- and Non-Alcohol-Related Accidents," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-24, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:48
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cotti, Chad & Dunn, Richard A. & Tefft, Nathan, 2014. "Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crash risk and the location of alcohol purchase," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 201-209.
    2. French, Michael T. & Gumus, Gulcin, 2014. "Macroeconomic fluctuations and motorcycle fatalities in the U.S," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 187-193.
    3. Anderson, D. Mark & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Per Se Drugged Driving Laws and Traffic Fatalities," IZA Discussion Papers 7048, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Chad Cotti & Richard A. Dunn & Nathan Tefft, 2015. "The Dow is Killing Me: Risky Health Behaviors and the Stock Market," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(7), pages 803-821, July.
    5. Frijters, Paul & Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Sinha, Kompal, 2015. "A lifecycle perspective of stock market performance and wellbeing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 237-250.
    6. Giulietti, Corrado & Tonin, Mirco & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2020. "When the market drives you crazy: Stock market returns and fatal car accidents," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    7. Janke, Katharina & Lee, Kevin & Propper, Carol & Shields, Kalvinder & Shields, Michael A., 2020. "Macroeconomic Conditions and Health in Britain: Aggregation, Dynamics and Local Area Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 13091, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Frijters, Paul & Johnston, David W. & Lordan, Grace & Shields, Michael A., 2013. "Exploring the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and problem drinking as captured by Google searches in the US," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 61-68.
    9. Brad R. Humphreys & Hyunwoong Pyun, 2018. "Professional sporting events and traffic: Evidence from U.S. cities," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 869-886, November.
    10. Ullman, Darin F., 2016. "Locked and not loaded: First time offenders and state ignition interlock programs," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-13.
    11. Bertoli, Paola & Grembi, Veronica & Vall Castellò, Judit, 2018. "Not all silver lining? The Great Recession and road traffic accidents," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 274-288.
    12. Garth Heutel & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2016. "Air Pollution and Procyclical Mortality," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 667-706.
    13. Harper, Sam, 2017. "The Great Recession and suicide," OSF Preprints gep3z, Center for Open Science.
    14. Nehiba, Cody, 2018. "Give me 3': Do minimum distance passing laws reduce bicyclist fatalities?," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 9-20.
    15. Chad Cotti & John Gordanier & Orgul Ozturk, 2016. "Eat (and Drink) Better Tonight: Food Stamp Benefit Timing and Drunk Driving Fatalities," American Journal of Health Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 511-534, Fall.
    16. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2015. "Recessions, healthy no more?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 17-28.
    17. Chad Cotti & Richard A. Dunn & Nathan Tefft, 2013. "Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Crash Risk and the Location of Alcohol Purchase," Working Papers 23, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
    18. Vikram Maheshri & Clifford Winston, 2016. "Did the Great Recession keep bad drivers off the road?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 255-280, June.
    19. Adams, Scott & Cotti, Chad & Tefft, Nathan, 2013. "Seatbelt Use Following Stricter Drunk Driving Regulations," Working Paper series 159990, University of Connecticut, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
    20. Chad Cotti & David Simon, 2018. "The Impact Of Stock Market Fluctuations On The Mental And Physical Well‐Being Of Children," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(2), pages 1007-1027, April.
    21. He, Monica M., 2016. "Driving through the Great Recession: Why does motor vehicle fatality decrease when the economy slows down?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 1-11.
    22. Anderson, D. Mark & Rees, Daniel I., 2015. "Per se drugged driving laws and traffic fatalities," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 122-134.
    23. Leandro Rocco & Breno Sampaio, 2016. "Are handheld cell phone and texting bans really effective in reducing fatalities?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 853-876, September.

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