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Show Me the Way to Go Home: An Empirical Investigation of Ride Sharing and Alcohol Related Motor Vehicle Homicide

35 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2015 Last revised: 16 Dec 2016

Brad N. Greenwood

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Sunil Wattal

Temple University - Department of Management Information Systems

Date Written: January 29, 2015

Abstract

In this work, we investigate how the entry of the ride sharing service Uber influences the rate of alcohol related motor vehicle homicides. While significant debate has surrounded the entry of driving services such as Uber and Lyft, limited rigorous empirical work has been devoted to uncovering the societal benefits of such services (or the mechanism which drives these benefits). Using a difference-in-difference approach to exploit a natural experiment, the entry of two Uber services into markets in California between 2009 and 2014, we find a significant drop in the rate of homicides after the introduction of Uber. Furthermore, results suggest that not all services offered by Uber have the same effect, insofar as the effect for the Uber Black car service is intermittent and manifests only in selective locations (i.e. large cities). These results underscore the coupling of increased availability with cost savings which are necessary to exploit the public welfare gains offered by the sharing economy. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed within.

Keywords: Uber, sharing economy, ride sharing, drunk driving, vehicular homicide, difference in difference, natural experiment, platforms

Suggested Citation

Greenwood, Brad N. and Wattal, Sunil, Show Me the Way to Go Home: An Empirical Investigation of Ride Sharing and Alcohol Related Motor Vehicle Homicide (January 29, 2015). Fox School of Business Research Paper No. 15-054. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2557612 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2557612

Brad N. Greenwood (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Sunil Wattal

Temple University - Department of Management Information Systems ( email )

1810 N. 13th Street
Floor 2
Philadelphia, PA 19128
United States

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