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Warning, Learning and Compliance: Evidence from Micro-data on Driving Behavior

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  • Marcello Basili

    ()

  • Filippo Belloc

    ()

  • Simona Benedettini

    ()

  • Antonio Nicita

    ()

Abstract

In many contexts, warning systems of law enforcement are used to let uninformed individuals learn what is illegal, while sanctions are applied only after a number of repeated violations. Surprisingly no em- pirical evidence is available so far, over the learning impact of warnings. This paper is a first attempt to empirically investigate the warning’s effect on individuals’ behavior employing a unique database on a traffic law enforcement system, which constitutes an extraordinary nat- ural laboratory to test whether experience warning induces learning. Specifically, we use six-year longitudinal data on about 50000 drivers under the Italian point-record system of traffic law. Our statistical re- sults show that warned drivers become more compliant. To the extent individuals learn through their repeated behavior, a warning system makes it possible to apply sanctions only to (presumably) informed violators.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcello Basili & Filippo Belloc & Simona Benedettini & Antonio Nicita, 2012. "Warning, Learning and Compliance: Evidence from Micro-data on Driving Behavior," Department of Economics University of Siena 639, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:639
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    File URL: http://repec.deps.unisi.it/quaderni/639.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kaplow, Louis, 1990. "Optimal Deterrence, Uninformed Individuals, and Acquiring Information about Whether Acts Are Subject to Sanctions," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 93-128, Spring.
    2. Bourgeon, Jean-Marc & Picard, Pierre, 2007. "Point-record driving licence and road safety: An economic approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 235-258, February.
    3. Georges Dionne & Jean Pinquet & Mathieu Maurice & Charles Vanasse, 2011. "Incentive Mechanisms for Safe Driving: A Comparative Analysis with Dynamic Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 218-227, February.
    4. Nyborg, Karine & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The role of warnings in regulation: keeping control with less punishment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2801-2816, December.
    5. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
    6. Heyes, Anthony & Rickman, Neil, 1999. "Regulatory dealing - revisiting the Harrington paradox," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 361-378, June.
    7. Garvie, Devon & Keeler, Andrew, 1994. "Incomplete enforcement with endogenous regulatory choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 141-162, September.
    8. Rousseau, Sandra, 2009. "The use of warnings in the presence of errors," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 191-201, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Josef Montag, 2013. "A radical change in traffic law: effects on fatalities in the Czech Republic," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2013-39, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    warning; law enforcement; mixture models;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General

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