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Pay-as-you-speed: Two field experiments on controlling adverse selection and moral hazard in traffic insurance


  • Lars Hultkrantz
  • Gunnar Lindberg
  • Jan-Eric Nilsson
  • Fridtjof Thomas


Around one million people are killed world wide every year in road-traffic accidents. The risks and consequences of accidents increase progressively with speed, which ultimately is determined by the individual driver. The behaviour of the motorist thus affects both her own and other peoples safety. Internalisation of external costs of road transport has hitherto been focused on distance-based taxes or insurance premiums. While these means, as they are designed today, may affect driven distance, they have no influence on driving behaviour. This paper argues that by linking on-board positioning systems to insurance premiums it is possible to reward careful driving and get drivers to self select into different risk categories depending on their compliance to speed limits. We report two economic field experiments that have tested ways to induce car-owners to have technical platforms installed in their vehicle in order to affect the extent of speeding. It is demonstrated that a bonus to remunerate those that have the device installed, tantamount to a lower insurance premium, increases drivers?propensity to accept the technical devices. In a second experiment the size of the bonus is made dependent on the actual frequency of speeding. We find that this is a second way to discipline users to drive at legal speeds.

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  • Lars Hultkrantz & Gunnar Lindberg & Jan-Eric Nilsson & Fridtjof Thomas, 2005. "Pay-as-you-speed: Two field experiments on controlling adverse selection and moral hazard in traffic insurance," Framed Field Experiments 00170, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:framed:00170

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    2. Royalty, Anne Beeson & Hagens, John, 2005. "The effect of premiums on the decision to participate in health insurance and other fringe benefits offered by the employer: evidence from a real-world experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 95-112, January.
    3. Hultkrantz, Lars, 2004. "Voluntary road pricing," Working Papers 2004:5, Örebro University, School of Business.
    4. Parry, Ian W. H., 2004. "Comparing alternative policies to reduce traffic accidents," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 346-368, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Levitt, Steven D. & List, John A., 2009. "Field experiments in economics: The past, the present, and the future," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-18, January.
    2. Arvidsson, Sara, 2010. "Reducing asymmetric information with usage-based automobile insurance," Working Papers 2010:2, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI), revised 03 Feb 2011.

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