Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1759993
 
 

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Buckling Under Pressure: An Empirical Test of the Expressive Effects of Law


Maggie Wittlin


Columbia University - Law School

February 11, 2011

Yale Journal on Regulation, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2011

Abstract:     
Expressive theories of law assert that law has effects on behavior beyond simple deterrence. This Note tests legal expressivism by analyzing how seatbelt use has changed in response to differing state seatbelt laws. This Note separates the effects of the laws themselves from the effects of changing enforcement levels and finds that the laws have a robust effect on seatbelt use, even controlling for convictions or citations issued. Additionally, this Note finds that a highly publicized seatbelt law in one state can affect seatbelt use in other states. These findings support an expressive function of law.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 51

Keywords: legal expressivism, seat belts

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Date posted: February 13, 2011 ; Last revised: June 28, 2011

Suggested Citation

Wittlin, Maggie, Buckling Under Pressure: An Empirical Test of the Expressive Effects of Law (February 11, 2011). Yale Journal on Regulation, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1759993

Contact Information

Maggie Wittlin (Contact Author)
Columbia University - Law School ( email )
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States
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