NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

State vs Consumer Regulation: An Evaluation of Two Road Safety Interventions in Kenya

James Habyarimana, William Jack

NBER Working Paper No. 18378
Issued in September 2012
NBER Program(s):   HE

This paper compares the relative impact of two road safety interventions in the Kenyan minibus or matatu sector: a top down set of regulatory requirements known as the Michuki Rules and a consumer empowerment intervention. We use very detailed insurance claims data on three classes of vehicles to implement a difference-in-differences estimation strategy to measure the impact of the Michuki Rules. Despite strong political leadership and dedicated resources, we find no statistically significant effect of the Michuki Rules on accident rates. In contrast, the consumer empowerment intervention that didn't rely on third party enforcement has very large and significant effects on accident rates. Our intent-to-treat estimates suggest reductions in accident rates of at least 50%. Our analysis suggests that in institutionally weak environments, innovative consumer-driven solutions might provide an alternative solution to low quality service provision.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18378

Forthcoming: State versus Consumer Regulation: An Evaluation of Two Road Safety Interventions in Kenya, James Habyarimana, William Jack. in African Successes: Government and Institutions, Volume 1, Edwards, Johnson, and Weil. 2016

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