Ridesharing and External-Cause Mortality

61 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2024

See all articles by Conor Lennon

Conor Lennon

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Christian Saenz

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Students

Keith Teltser

Georgia State University

Date Written: March 5, 2024


Existing research suggests ridesharing affects transportation access, substance use, and exposure to crime. Ridesharing may therefore also have meaningful effects on mortality related to these underlying factors. To address this question, we use restricted-access data from the National Vital Statistics System to study how UberX, Uber's taxi-like service, affects mortality from external causes. Our identification strategy relies on spatial and temporal variation in UberX entry across U.S. counties. Among those aged 18 to 45, we find that UberX entry into an area is associated with 2.01 additional deaths per quarter per 100,000 population (roughly a 10% increase). We find that these deaths are primarily related to alcohol and drug use. We support a causal interpretation for our findings by presenting event studies, placebo analyses, sensitivity and heterogeneity analyses, and a variety of robustness checks, including differences-in-differences estimators that are robust to heterogeneous treatment effects. Our work contributes to the literature by addressing both the benefits and costs of ridesharing, and by informing stakeholders who are interested in the cumulative impact of ridesharing on public health and well-being.


Funding Information: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Conflict of Interests: All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Keywords: Uber, Transportation Costs, Mortality, Alcohol, Substance Use, Overdose

JEL Classification: I12, L62 L92, R41, K42

Suggested Citation

Lennon, Conor and Saenz, Christian and Teltser, Keith, Ridesharing and External-Cause Mortality (March 5, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4749094 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4749094

Conor Lennon

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) ( email )

Troy, NY 12180
United States

Christian Saenz

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Students

United States

Keith Teltser (Contact Author)

Georgia State University ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/kteltser

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