Research Publication Title

Does Uber Save Lives?

Presenter Information

Liam DevlinFollow

Major

Economics

Faculty Mentor(s)

Chris Clark J.J. Arias

Keywords

Uber, Traffic-Fatalities, OLS, Econometrics, DUI

Abstract

Uber has claimed that their service saves lives by reducing alcohol related traffic fatalities. I believe their claim is poorly supported and suffers from personal interest bias. Prior research on Uber’s impact on traffic fatalities has shown various results that contradict each other. Due to these mixed results, I was motivated to conduct research of my own into how Uber impacts a city. I utilize state and county level panel data on traffic fatalities as my dependent variable to determine if the introduction of Uber has an impact on traffic fatalities. Since Uber was introduced to most metropolitan statistical areas in a staggered fashion from 2010-2014 I use a quasi-difference-in-difference approach to determine what, if any, impact the introduction of Uber has on annual traffic fatalities at the state and county level. I suspect that the introduction of Uber has a statistically insignificant effect on annual alcohol related traffic fatalities due to multiple reasons. Should my prediction hold true, we can evaluate ride-sharing services and DUI prevention policies in a new way.

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Does Uber Save Lives?

Uber has claimed that their service saves lives by reducing alcohol related traffic fatalities. I believe their claim is poorly supported and suffers from personal interest bias. Prior research on Uber’s impact on traffic fatalities has shown various results that contradict each other. Due to these mixed results, I was motivated to conduct research of my own into how Uber impacts a city. I utilize state and county level panel data on traffic fatalities as my dependent variable to determine if the introduction of Uber has an impact on traffic fatalities. Since Uber was introduced to most metropolitan statistical areas in a staggered fashion from 2010-2014 I use a quasi-difference-in-difference approach to determine what, if any, impact the introduction of Uber has on annual traffic fatalities at the state and county level. I suspect that the introduction of Uber has a statistically insignificant effect on annual alcohol related traffic fatalities due to multiple reasons. Should my prediction hold true, we can evaluate ride-sharing services and DUI prevention policies in a new way.