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Lowering blood alcohol content levels to save lives: The European experience


  • Daniel Albalate

    (University of Barcelona, Spain)


Road safety is of increasing concern in developed countries because of the significant number of deaths and large economic losses. One tool commonly used by governments to deal with road accidents is the enactment of stricter policies and regulations. Drunk driving is one of the leading concerns in this field and several European countries have decided to lower their illegal Blood Alcohol Content levels to 0.5 mg|ml over the last decade. This study uses European panel-based data (CARE) for the period 1991-2003 for the first time to evaluate the effectiveness of this transition by applying the differences-in-differences method in a fixed effects estimation that allows for any pattern of correlation (Cluster-Robust). The results show positive policy impacts, particularly on certain groups of victims, such as young males in urban zones. However, there are reasons to expect a short lag in that effectiveness. © 2008 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Albalate, 2008. "Lowering blood alcohol content levels to save lives: The European experience," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 20-39.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:27:y:2008:i:1:p:20-39 DOI: 10.1002/pam.20305

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise


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