Heckman's Methodology for Correcting Selectivity Bias: An Application to Road Crash Costs

Edith Cowan University Working Paper No. 01.11

30 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2001

Date Written: September 2001


Aggregate road crash costs are traditionally determined using average costs applied to incidence figures found in Police-notified crash data. Such data only comprise a non-random sample of the true population of road crashes, the bias being due to the existence of crashes that are not notified to the Police. The traditional approach is to label the Police-notified sample as 'non-random' thereby casting a cloud over data analyses using this sample. Heckman however viewed similar problems as 'omitted variables' problems in that the exclusion of some observations in a systematic manner (so-called selectivity bias) has inadvertently introduced the need for an additional regressor in the least squares procedures. Using Heckman's methodology for correcting for this selectivity bias, Police-notified crash data for Western Australia in 1987/88 is reconciled with total (notified and not notified) crash data in the estimation of the property damage costs of road crashes.

Keywords: selectivity bias, Heckman, regression analysis, road crash costs

JEL Classification: C51, R49

Suggested Citation

Giles, Margaret, Heckman's Methodology for Correcting Selectivity Bias: An Application to Road Crash Costs (September 2001). Edith Cowan University Working Paper No. 01.11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=288275 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.288275

Margaret Giles (Contact Author)

Edith Cowan University ( email )

100 Joondalup Drive
Joondalup, WA 6027, WA 6027
0432662101 (Phone)

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