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Highway Safety, Economic Behavior, and Driving Environment

  • Keeler, Theodore E.
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    Economic analysis has enhanced our understanding of the efficacy of highway safety regulations. Specifically, a consumer-theoretic literature has developed on drivers' responses to regulations, based on ideas first set forth by Lester lave and W. E. Weber (1970) and more fully thought out by Sam Peltzman (1975). Meanwhile, an empirical literature has also developed, testing hypotheses relating to the effects on safety of speed limits, safety-device regulations, and alcohol policies, among other things. yet, despite extensive research, controversies remain as to the effects of regulations on highway safety. This paper contributes to the literature on economic aspects of highway safety in an four important ways: First, it is based on a county-level data set for the U. S. for 1970 and !980, affording over 2,600 observations each year in a consistent panel, many more observations than previous studies have used. Second, this study uses different and more appropriate estimation procedures than most previous studies, allowing for the count nature of highway fatalities and correcting for omitted-variable bias otherwise possible in cross-section analysis. Third, the model used here controls for more variables in a single model than previous studies. Finally, this study allows for important differences in the estimated coefficients between urban and rural driving environments.

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    File URL: http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/9c27z2z1.pdf;origin=repeccitec
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    Paper provided by University of California Transportation Center in its series University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers with number qt9c27z2z1.

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    Date of creation: 01 Sep 1993
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt9c27z2z1
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    1. Alan Krueger & Orley Ashenfelter, 1992. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," NBER Working Papers 4143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
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    8. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, May.
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    13. Rose, Nancy L, 1990. "Profitability and Product Quality: Economic Determinants of Airline Safety Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 944-64, October.
    14. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
    15. Saffer, Henry & Grossman, Michael, 1987. "Drinking Age Laws and Highway Mortality Rates: Cause and Effect," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 403-17, July.
    16. Peter Asch & David T. Levy, 1987. "Does the minimum drinking age affect traffic fatalities?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(2), pages 180-192.
    17. Levy, David T & Asch, Peter, 1989. "Speeding, Coordination, and the 55-MPH Limit: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 913-15, September.
    18. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Introduction to "Economic Aspects of Health"," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 1-12 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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