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Within years, the combo of ST_CASE and STATE uniquely identifies accidents, so an intermediate step is tracking the accident ID. Then you could classify accidents as involving a child as those where at least one of the decedents is under a certain age, then use that PER_TYP variable to look at the ages of the driver(s) for those accidents. Cool analysis, btw--I've worked a lot with the FARS and happy to help :)

You can get the age of the driver by looking at the age of the person with PER_TYP equal to one.

Super useful, I would love to read more of your IVF thoughts if they're posted somewhere! I think your views imply that these new sperm obstacle courses, based on fears of a worse sperm-selection process in IVF, have zero effect on people's eventual outcomes (conditional on viability)? But curious what you think. Example: "The SPARTAN system uses a series of obstacles on a microchip, requiring sperm to swim around pillar-shaped objects and through the device. As a result, this device promotes the collection of the highest quality sperm."

Great question, I really want to know the answer! This study says "13% of non-gravid [not pregnant] women report fear of childbirth sufficient to postpone or avoid pregnancy." Separately, roughly 15% of women never have children, so that puts a ceiling on how big the effects could be on having any children. I suspect fear of childbirth is not a top reason for the 15%...but that's not based on much data. 

Really agree with all of these, thanks. Curious, in your decision-making process, did you ever have a way to calculate “the chance of a really disabling (as bad as Down syndrome) disorder”?

Ah yes you're right, it's stricter for contacts. I was at least able to get to the purchase page on LensCrafters for a pair of glasses. (Just had to check a box where I promise the values are based on a recent prescription.) Thanks for pointing that out!

Thanks for the question. I like the EMH metaphor. I think that the "uncontroversially good" legislative opportunities can generally be viewed as the result of some inefficiency.

You bring up the case of diffuse harm and concentrated benefits. It seems widely acknowledged that lobbyists and interest groups have too much leverage. The inefficiency is that voters can't keep track of all the small ways they're being harmed and so donations do not track welfare impacts. But, as you say, these reforms would be controversial to someone, so perhaps I could improve my language. I want a pithy way to say: "Behind closed doors, most politicians would see this as utterly reasonable and good."

While I'm on it, here are two other sources of inefficiency which I think could be relevant here:

  1. Myopia. In the US, Social Security will be insolvent in 2033. But it seems like politicians (and voters) are not that excited about tackling this one. Pandemic preparedness is another example.
  2. "Laboratories of democracy." State and local governments should probably try more things than they're selfishly incentivized to because their experience with the reforms becomes a public good that other governments can learn from and imitate.

US companies like LensCrafters, Warby Parker, and 1-800-contacts do care, which in my experience has been prohibitive in some situations. Eg see:

And the discussion here:

Really useful post, thanks for sharing. In case you're interested, this paper seems to do a good job of tacking the "mortality vs years of life lost" issue you mention.

I didn't do much research into other cross-country crime measures so I'm definitely curious to learn more about other ways of getting at this. 

But to me the most obvious reason to favor homicide is reporting. Partially because it's fresh in my mind, I'd recommend The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society (from 1967). Starting at page 25 they go through changes in reporting that caused huge blips in measured crime in the US. I think the authors may have wanted to play down the crime increase for political reasons, but even discounting them somewhat they do identify issues in measurement that could easily persist today and be way worse in other countries. 

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