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Catching or Fining Speeders: A Political Economy Approach

Author

Listed:
  • Delhaye Eef

    () (K.U.Leuven-Center for Economic Studies)

  • Proost Stef

    () (K.U.Leuven-Center for Economic Studies)

  • Rousseau Sandra

    () (K.U.Leuven-Center for Economic Studies)

Abstract

According to Becker (1968) it is best to use very high fines and low inspection probabilities to deter traffic accidents because inspection is costly. This paper uses a political economy model to analyse the choice of the fine and the inspection probability. There are two lobby groups: the vulnerable road users and the ‘strong’ road users. If only vulnerable road users are effective in lobbying, we find that the expected fine is higher than if only the interests of car drivers are taken into account. When we consider the choice between inspection probability and the magnitude of the fine for a given expected fine, we find that the fine preferred by the vulnerable road users is higher than socially optimal. The reverse holds if only the car drivers are effective lobbyists. The orders of magnitude are illustrated numerically for speeding and contrasted with current fines for drunk driving in the European Union.

Suggested Citation

  • Delhaye Eef & Proost Stef & Rousseau Sandra, 2007. "Catching or Fining Speeders: A Political Economy Approach," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0702, KU Leuven, Department of Economics - Research Group Energy, Transport and Environment.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:etewps:ete0702
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    Cited by:

    1. Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2016. "The private (unnoticed) welfare cost of highway speeding behavior from time saving misperceptions," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 7, pages 24-37.

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    Keywords

    Political economy; enforcement; traffic safe;

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