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Recently Published: Child Seats are Still No Safer Than Seat Belts

MPI Postdoctoral Fellow, Lauren Jones, recently published the following:

Successful Scientific Replication and Extension of Levitt (2008): Child Seats are Still No Safer Than Seat Belts


Using US fatality data from 1975 to 2003, Levitt (Evidence that seat belts are as effective as child safety seats in preventing death for children aged two and up, Review of Economics and Statistics 2008; 90(1): 158–163) shows that child safety seats do not significantly reduce fatalities for children aged 2–6 years as compared to standard seat belts. Although we were unable to gain access to the original programs and dataset used, we were able to replicate Levitt’s (2008) findings almost exactly. We extend Levitt (2008) by showing that the findings also hold for the years 2004–2011 despite changing driver characteristics and restraint use patterns. We fail to find evidence that SUVs provide additional safety for children.