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Consumer Demand for Vehicle Safety: An Empirical Study


  • McCarthy, Patrick S


Although numerous studies on the effects of vehicle safety regulation exist, few are devoted to consumer demands for vehicle safety. This study uses an extensive data set combining vehicle specific information with responses from a national household survey of new car buyers to estimate individual demand for safety. It finds, ceteris paribus, purchase probability rises with an increase in safety features. In particular, an index of vehicle crashworthiness is a strong determinant of purchase decisions. The results favor a policy of positing crash test results and suggest that passive restraint systems enhance the likelihood of purchasing a given model. Copyright 1990 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • McCarthy, Patrick S, 1990. "Consumer Demand for Vehicle Safety: An Empirical Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(3), pages 530-543, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:28:y:1990:i:3:p:530-43

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Small, Kenneth A., 1997. "Economics and urban transportation policy in the United States," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 671-691, November.

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