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The Effectiveness of Vehicle Safety Inspections: An Analysis Using Panel Data

Author

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  • David Merrell
  • Marc Poitras
  • Daniel Sutter

Abstract

We examined the effectiveness of state automobile safety inspections and present new evidence from a panel of the 50 states for the years 1981–1993. Our approach incorporated several innovations over previous studies of safety inspections; most significantly, we estimated a fixed-effects model that incorporated state-specific shifts in casualty rates. We found no evidence that inspections significantly reduce fatality or injury rates. Our study also provides evidence on the effects of speed limits, seat belts, and Peltzman’s offsetting behavior hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • David Merrell & Marc Poitras & Daniel Sutter, 1999. "The Effectiveness of Vehicle Safety Inspections: An Analysis Using Panel Data," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 571-583, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:65:3:y:1999:p:571-583
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Darren Grant & Stephen M. Rutner, 2004. "The effect of bicycle helmet legislation on bicycling fatalities," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 595-611.
    2. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Mad cows, terrorism and junk food: Should public policy reflect perceived or objective risks?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 234-248, March.
    3. Olof Johansson-Stenman & Peter Martinsson, 2005. "Anyone for higher speed limits? – Self-interested and adaptive political preferences," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 319-331, March.
    4. Michael D. Makowsky & Thomas Stratmann, 2011. "More Tickets, Fewer Accidents: How Cash-Strapped Towns Make for Safer Roads," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 863-888.
    5. Babcock, Michael W. & Gayle, Philip G., 2009. "State Variation in the Determinants of Motor Vehicle Fatalities," Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, Transportation Research Forum, vol. 48(3).
    6. Peck, Dana & Scott Matthews, H. & Fischbeck, Paul & Hendrickson, Chris T., 2015. "Failure rates and data driven policies for vehicle safety inspections in Pennsylvania," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 252-265.
    7. Thomas A. Garrett & Gary A. Wagner, 2009. "Red Ink in the Rearview Mirror: Local Fiscal Conditions and the Issuance of Traffic Tickets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 71-90, February.
    8. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2006. "Mad Cows, Terrorism and Junk Food: Should Public Policy Reflect Subjective or Objective Risks?," Working Papers in Economics 194, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    9. Babcock, Michael W. & Zlatoper, Thomas J. & Welki, Andrew M., 2008. "Determinants of Motor Vehicle Fatalities: A Kansas Case Study," Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, Transportation Research Forum, vol. 47(1).
    10. Yamamura, Eiji, 2008. "Impact of formal and informal deterrents on driving behavior," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2505-2512, December.
    11. Anderson, D. Mark & Sandholt, Sina, 2016. "Booster Seats and Traffic Fatalities among Children," IZA Discussion Papers 10071, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Kuniyoshi Saito, 2009. "Evaluating Automobile Inspection Policy Using Auto Insurance Data," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(2), pages 200-215, April.

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