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An exploration of the offset hypothesis using disaggregate data: The case of airbags and antilock brakes

  • Clifford Winston

    ()

  • Vikram Maheshri
  • Fred Mannering

The offset hypothesis predicts consumers adapt to innovations that improve safety by becoming less vigilant about safety. Previous tests have used aggregate data that may confound the effect of a safety policy with those consumers who are most affected by it. We test the hypothesis using disaggregate data to analyze the effects of airbags and antilock brakes on automobile safety. We find that safety-conscious drivers are more likely than other drivers to acquire airbags and antilock brakes but these safety devices do not have a significant effect on collisions or injuries, suggesting drivers trade off enhanced safety for speedier trips. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11166-006-8288-7
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.

Volume (Year): 32 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 83-99

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:32:y:2006:i:2:p:83-99
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100299

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  1. Traynor, Thomas L, 1993. " The Peltzman Hypothesis Revisited: An Isolated Evaluation of Offsetting Driver Behavior," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 237-47, October.
  2. Vassilis A. Hajivassiliou & Axel Borsch-Supan, 1990. "Smooth Unbiased Multivariate Probability Simulators for Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Limited Dependent Variable Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 960, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. John M. Yun, 2002. "Offsetting Behavior Effects of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(2), pages 260-270, April.
  4. Steven D. Levitt & Jack Porter, 2001. "Sample Selection In The Estimation Of Air Bag And Seat Belt Effectiveness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 603-615, November.
  5. Lindsay Noble Calkins & Thomas J. Zlatoper, 2001. "The Effects of Mandatory Seat Belt Laws on Motor Vehicle Fatalities in the United States," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 82(4), pages 716-732.
  6. Robert S. Chirinko & Edward P. Harper, 1993. "Buckle up or slow down? New estimates of offsetting behavior and their implications for automobile safety regulation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 270-296.
  7. McCarthy, Patrick S., 1999. "Public policy and highway safety: a city-wide perspective," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 231-244, March.
  8. Sen, Anindya, 2001. "An Empirical Test of the Offset Hypothesis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 481-510, October.
  9. Alma Cohen & Liran Einav, 2003. "The Effects of Mandatory Seat Belt Laws on Driving Behavior and Traffic Fatalities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 828-843, November.
  10. Peterson, Steven & Hoffer, George & Millner, Edward, 1995. "Are Drivers of Air-Bag-Equipped Cars More Aggressive? A Test of the Offsetting Behavior Hypothesis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 251-64, October.
  11. David W. Harless & George E. Hoffer, 2003. "Testing for Offsetting Behavior and Adverse Recruitment Among Drivers of Airbag-Equipped Vehicles," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 70(4), pages 629-650.
  12. Hausman, J. A. & Abrevaya, Jason & Scott-Morton, F. M., 1998. "Misclassification of the dependent variable in a discrete-response setting," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 239-269, September.
  13. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
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