Friday, January 11, 2008

Best phrase I've read today

[...] motorcycle riders should be exempt from helmet laws as long as they agree to be organ donors.

Read the whole summary of Charles Wheelan's favourite session, "Economics of Traffic Safety: Children, Teenagers and the Elderly", from the AEA meeting this year. And if you want more details, 3 of the 4 papers in that session can be downloaded here (direct links: Levitt and Doyle on child safety seats and seat bealts; Karaca-Mandic and Ridgeway on graduated driver licensing and respectively, Laughran and Seabury on accident risk of senior drivers). The 4th paper in that session, by Thomas Dee, on traffic safety and organ donations---connected to the phrase of the day--- is seemingly not yet available for download, so you'll have to stick to Wheelan's appraisal for now.

PS. Since I mention Wheelan above, remember that a while ago I recommended his book to all those that have no clue about economics, but would like to learn something fast and without much effort :-).


Raluca said...

Interesting reading. Come to think of it, the seatbelt law is protecting people against themselves as well (like the helmet law). It's a foolproof type of law - so the donor part should apply to it as well (although now it became a reflex for most people to put the seatbelt on; I even tend to reach for it when I ride the motorcycle. And I guess practice with helmets will do the same for the obstinate fools - it's just a matter of time).

Anyway, woohoo LSU! We are national champions, for the second time since I'm down here :)

Sebi Buhai said...

Interesting that you took it to higher ends (I guess one caveat with your argument would be that it is much more likely to be part to a road accident when riding a car, even if it is not your fault at all; and talking about seatbelts, Levitt has more articles on pros and cons to seatbelt use, by the way, that one was only the most recent), I would have tackled the other end and require all bicycle users to wear helmets unless they register themselves as organ doners :-). In DK most of them do, anyway (come to think of it, in NL I had the opposite impression).