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Do Mandatory Seat Belt Laws Affect Socioeconomic Inequalities in Seat Belt Use?

43 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2012  

Sam Harper

McGill University - Epidemiology, Biostatistics, & Occupational Health

Erin Strumpf

McGill University - Department of Economics; McGill University - Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health

Scott Burris

Center for Public Health Law Research, Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

George Davey Smith

University of Bristol - MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit

John Lynch

University of South Australia

Date Written: July 30, 2012

Abstract

We investigated the effect of mandatory seat belt laws on socioeconomic differences in seat belt use. We identified the differential effect of legislation across socioeconomic groups using a difference-in-difference-in-differences model based on state variations in the timing of the passage of laws. Seat belt laws consistently reduced educational and income gaps, with the smallest differences between socioeconomic groups observed among states that do not require any other violation to issue a citation for seat belt non-use (primary enforcement). Our results imply that existing socioeconomic differences in seat belt use would be further mitigated if all states upgraded to primary enforcement.

Keywords: safety legislation, health behaviors, health inequalities

JEL Classification: I18, K32, I00

Suggested Citation

Harper, Sam and Strumpf, Erin and Burris, Scott and Davey Smith, George and Lynch, John, Do Mandatory Seat Belt Laws Affect Socioeconomic Inequalities in Seat Belt Use? (July 30, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2120120 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2120120

Sam Harper (Contact Author)

McGill University - Epidemiology, Biostatistics, & Occupational Health ( email )

1020 Pine Avenue West
Montreal, QC H3A 1A2
Canada
+1 (514) 398-2856 (Phone)
+1 (514) 398-4503 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/epidemiology/harper

Erin Strumpf

McGill University - Department of Economics ( email )

855 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC H3A 2T7
CANADA

McGill University - Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health ( email )

Montreal
United States

Scott C. Burris

Center for Public Health Law Research, Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-6576 (Phone)
215-204-1185 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.phlr.org

George Davey Smith

University of Bristol - MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit ( email )

Bristol
United Kingdom

John Lynch

University of South Australia ( email )

37-44 North Terrace, City West Campus
Adelaide, South Australia 5001
Australia

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