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Traffic fatalities: does income inequality create an externality?

Anbarci, N.; Escaleras, M.; Register, C.


M. Escaleras

C. Register


Responsible for 20 million severe injuries and/or deaths annually, few epidemics receive less attention than traffic accidents. Going beyond confirming an inverted U‐shaped relationship between mean income and fatalities, we show theoretically that income inequality can positively affect fatalities in two ways. Each operates through heterogeneity between road users, and while the direct effect can be expected to evaporate with rising income, the indirect effect may prove to be an externality in that the relationship remains regardless of the level of income. Our model is supported by evidence from 79 countries between 1970 and 2000.


Anbarci, N., Escaleras, M., & Register, C. (2009). Traffic fatalities: does income inequality create an externality?. Canadian Journal of Economics, 42(1), 244-266.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jan 28, 2009
Publication Date 2009-02
Deposit Date Aug 17, 2018
Journal Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique
Print ISSN 0008-4085
Electronic ISSN 1540-5982
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 42
Issue 1
Pages 244-266
Public URL