Licensure Provisions, Teen Licensing, and Vehicular Fatalities

CAEPR Working Paper, 2018-010

47 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2018

See all articles by Gregory Gilpin

Gregory Gilpin

Montana State University - Bozeman

Date Written: August 27, 2018


Between 1996 and 2015, vehicular fatalities per capita involving 16- to 20-year-old drivers declined by 47.4%. During this same period, states enacted licensure provisions in an á la carte fashion, now collectively referred to as graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs. While the literature demonstrates that ‘good’ GDL programs reduce teen licensing and fatalities, how these reductions occur remains open. In this study, individual GDL provisions and No-Pass-No-Drive laws are studied to understand reduction mechanisms. The evaluation is based on a state-by-year panel and uses difference-in-difference and triple difference specifications to identify causal impacts on rates of fatality, licensing, and fatalities per licensed driver. The empirical results consistently find that four of the seven GDL provisions and No-Pass-No-Drive laws impact 16- and 17-year-old drivers and all effects dissipate when provisions are no longer binding. Licensing provisions have little-to-no impact on fatalities per licensed driver.

Keywords: Teens, Graduated Driver Licensing, Vehicular Fatalities, Traffic Safety, No-Pass-No-Drive

JEL Classification: 12, I18

Suggested Citation

Gilpin, Gregory, Licensure Provisions, Teen Licensing, and Vehicular Fatalities (August 27, 2018). CAEPR Working Paper, 2018-010, Available at SSRN:

Gregory Gilpin (Contact Author)

Montana State University - Bozeman ( email )

Bozeman, MT 59717-2920
United States
406 551 4887 (Phone)


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