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Subjective Beliefs, Deterrence, and the Propensity to Drive While Intoxicated

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  • Yiqun Chen
  • Frank Sloan

Abstract

This study investigates causal effects of changes in subjective probabilities of being pulled over and involved in accidents if driving while intoxicated on individuals’ drinking and driving choices. We also examine how hypothetical changes in perceptions of sanction severity affect drunk driving by experiments randomizing the harshness of punishments. We find that higher perceived risks of being pulled over and involved in accidents deter drinking and driving. However, deterrence is limited to persons who are alcohol addicted, lack of self-control over drinking, and are more impulsive. No deterrent effect of harsher legal punishments is found on individuals’ drunk driving choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Yiqun Chen & Frank Sloan, 2014. "Subjective Beliefs, Deterrence, and the Propensity to Drive While Intoxicated," NBER Working Papers 20680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20680
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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