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Driving under the (cellular) influence

Bhargava, Saurabh and Pathania, Vikram S. (2013) Driving under the (cellular) influence. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 5 (3). pp. 92-125. ISSN 1945-7731

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Identification Number: 10.1257/pol.5.3.92


We investigate the causal link between driver cell phone use and crash rates by exploiting a natural experiment induced by the 9 pm price discontinuity that characterizes a majority of recent cellular plans. We first document a 7.2 percent jump in driver call likelihood at the 9 pm threshold. Using a prior period as a comparison, we next document no corresponding change in the relative crash rate. Our estimates imply an upper bound in the crash risk odds ratio of 3.0, which rejects the 4.3 asserted by Redelmeier and Tibshirani (1997). Additional panel analyses of cell phone ownership and cellular bans confirm our result.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 American Economic Association
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics > D12 - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2013 15:21
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2024 05:39
Funders: The Institute of Business and Economic Research

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