Thursday, October 28, 2010

Moral Hazards From Nanny Government

The counter-intuitive. Too much Gummint results in stupid citizens.

...The University of Chicago economist Sam Peltzman famously studied the results of the American 1966 Motor Safety Act that mandated new car safety standards. Instead of making driving safer, Peltzman found, the new standards prompted drivers to be more reckless on the roads, and endangered the lives of pedestrians. Other risk analysts have found the same occurred when seatbelt laws were introduced around the world.

Economists call that ''moral hazard'' - when people feel they are insulated from the consequences of their actions and behave differently as a result.

Similarly, some advocate that the NFL abandon helmets, noting that un-helmeted rugby players suffer less concussions than NFL players. Seems that rugby players are more cautious.

Well, maybe. Rugby tackling-rules ARE different: tackles must be made at waist-level or below (e.g.). On the other hand, rugby players actually play for 60 minutes, whereas an NFL team (offense AND defense) only plays for around 25 of the 60 minutes allotted.


In a revolution in traffic management across Europe, a number of towns are removing traffic lights, stop signs, and other road markings. Once eliminated, drivers enter intersections more slowly and more attentively. Instead of focusing their attention on signs, they make eye contact with other drivers. They negotiate. Accidents in these towns have dramatically declined...

(Quotations from the Sydney Morning Herald at this post of Bayou)

1 comment:

Billiam said...

Hunger and self preservation are the 2 best motivators, as well as the best argument for short time limits on unemployment compensation, welfare and doing what those towns in Europe did. People are driving more dangerously every year. As to the rest, people would not be as inclined to turn their noses up at flipping burgers, so to speak, if they knew their un-employment or welfare was expiring in, say, 90 days instead of 99 months. Hunger convinces one that no job is beneath you.