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The Incentive Effects of No-Fault Automobile Insurance

  • Cummins, J David
  • Phillips, Richard D
  • Weiss, Mary A

This paper presents a theoretical and empirical analysis of the effects of no-fault automobile insurance on fatal accident rates. As a mechanism for compensating the victims of automobile accidents, no-fault insurance has several important advantages over the tort system. However, by restricting access to tort, no-fault may weaken incentives for careful driving and lead to higher accident rates. We conduct an empirical analysis of automobile accident fatality rates in all U.S. states over the period 1968-94, controlling for the potential endogeneity of no-fault laws. The results support the hypothesis that no-fault is significantly associated with higher fatal accident rates than tort. Copyright 2001 by the University of Chicago.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law & Economics.

Volume (Year): 44 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 427-64

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:44:y:2001:i:2:p:427-64
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  1. Landes, Elisabeth M, 1982. "Insurance, Liability, and Accidents: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation of the Effect of No-Fault Accidents," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 49-65, April.
  2. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1978. "Unionism and Wage Rates: A Simultaneous Equations Model with Qualitative and Limited Dependent Variables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(2), pages 415-33, June.
  3. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
  4. Cummins, J David & Tennyson, Sharon, 1996. "Moral Hazard in Insurance Claiming: Evidence from Automobile Insurance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 29-50, January.
  5. Ian Mcewin, R., 1989. "No-fault and road accidents: Some Australasian evidence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 13-24, June.
  6. Farrell, Phillip & Fuchs, Victor R. & Fuchs, Victor R., 1982. "Schooling and health : The cigarette connection," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 217-230, December.
  7. J. David Cummins & Sharon Tennyson, 1992. "Controlling Automobile Insurance Costs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 95-115, Spring.
  8. Lave, Charles A, 1985. "Speeding, Coordination, and the 55 MPH Limit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1159-64, December.
  9. Robinson, Chris, 1989. "The Joint Determination of Union Status and Union Wage Effects: Some Tests of Alternative Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 639-67, June.
  10. Devlin, Rose Anne, 1990. "Some welfare implications of no-fault automobile insurance," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 193-205, September.
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