Does Uber make cities safer?

Allowing ride sharing in a city likely reduces the number of DUIs, fatal accidents and arrests for assault. But automobile thefts go up, presumably of cars left at bars overnight by Uber customers.

Using a unique panel of over 150 cities and counties from 2010 through 2013, we investigate whether the introduction of the ride-sharing service, Uber, is associated with changes in fatal vehicle crashes and crime. We find that Uber’s entry lowers the rate of DUIs and fatal accidents. For most specifications, we also find declines in arrests for assault and disorderly conduct. Conversely, we observe an increase in vehicle thefts.

Ride-Sharing, Fatal Crashes, and Crime by Angela K. Dills and Sean E. Mulholland

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