Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Alcohol, antitrust, and the 21st Amendment: An empirical examination of post and hold laws

Contents:

Author Info

  • Cooper, James C.
  • Wright, Joshua D.
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The 21st Amendment repealed prohibition, but granted the states broad power to regulate the distribution and sale of alcohol to consumers within their borders. Pursuant to this authority, states have established a complex web of regulations that limit the ability of beer, wine, and liquor producers to control the distribution of their product. From a consumer welfare perspective, one of the most potentially harmful state alcohol distribution regulations are “post and hold” laws (“PH laws”). PH laws require that alcohol distributors share future prices with rivals by “posting” them in advance, and then “hold” these prices for a specified period of time. Economic theory would suggest that PH laws reduce unilateral incentives for distributors to reduce prices and may facilitate tacit or explicit collusion, both to the detriment of consumers. Consistent with economic theory, we show that the PH laws reduce consumption by 2–8%. We also test whether, by reducing consumption, PH laws provide offsetting societal benefits in the form of reducing drunk driving accidents and underage drinking. We find no measurable relationship between PH laws and these social harms. These results suggest a socially beneficial role for antitrust challenges to PH laws and similar anticompetitive state regulation. If states wish to reduce the social ills associated with drinking, our results also suggest that directly targeting social harms with zero tolerance laws and lower drunk driving thresholds are superior policy instruments to PH laws.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0144818812000543
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 379-392

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:32:y:2012:i:4:p:379-392

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle

    Related research

    Keywords: Alcohol; Regulation; Post and hold; 21st amendment; Prohibition; Temperance; Preemption; Wine; Beer; Liquor; Antitrust; Collusion; Price-fixing; Sherman Act; Three-tier system; Franchise; State action; Federalism; Drunk driving; Alcoholism;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Sass, Tim R & Saurman, David S, 1993. "Mandated Exclusive Territories and Economic Efficiency: An Empirical Analysis of the Malt-Beverage Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 153-77, April.
    2. Xavier Vives, 2002. "Private Information, Strategic Behavior, and Efficiency in Cournot Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(3), pages 361-376, Autumn.
    3. Steven D. Levitt & Jack Porter, 2001. "How Dangerous Are Drinking Drivers?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(6), pages 1198-1237, December.
    4. Green, Edward J. & Porter, Robert H., 1982. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Working Papers 367, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    5. W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Harrington & John M. Vernon, 2005. "Economics of Regulation and Antitrust, 4th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 4, volume 1, number 026222075x, December.
    6. Christensen, Laurits Rolf & Caves, Richard E, 1997. "Cheap Talk and Investment Rivalry in the Pulp and Paper Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 47-73, March.
    7. Albaek, Svend & Mollgaard, Peter & Overgaard, Per B, 1997. "Government-Assisted Oligopoly Coordination? A Concrete Case," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 429-43, December.
    8. Sara Markowitz, 1999. "The Price of Alcohol, Wife Abuse, and Husband Abuse," NBER Working Papers 6916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Chesson, Harrell & Harrison, Paul & Kassler, William J, 2000. "Sex Under the Influence: The Effect of Alcohol Policy on Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates in the United States," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 215-38, April.
    10. Fuller, Stephen W. & Ruppel, Fred J. & Bessler, David A., 1990. "Effect Of Contract Disclosure On Price: Railroad Grain Contracting In The Plains," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 15(02), December.
    11. Maura P. Doyle & Christopher M. Snyder, 1997. "Information sharing and competition in the motor vehicle industry," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-4, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Carpenter Christopher S & Kloska Deborah D & O'Malley Patrick & Johnston Lloyd, 2007. "Alcohol Control Policies and Youth Alcohol Consumption: Evidence from 28 Years of Monitoring the Future," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-23, May.
    13. Jon Nelson, 2003. "Advertising Bans, Monopoly, and Alcohol Demand: Testing for Substitution Effects using State Panel Data," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 1-25, February.
    14. Sass, Tim R., 2005. "The competitive effects of exclusive dealing: Evidence from the U.S. beer industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 203-225, April.
    15. Sara Markowitz & Michael Grossman, 1998. "Alcohol Regulation And Domestic Violence Towards Children," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(3), pages 309-320, 07.
    16. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Beer and the Tie: Did Divestiture of Brewer-Owned Public Houses Lead to Higher Beer Prices?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 565-602, May.
    17. Douglas Coate & Michael Grossman, 1986. "Effects of Alcoholic Beverage Prices and Legal Drinking Ages on Youth Alcohol Use," NBER Working Papers 1852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Saroja Selvanathan & Eliyathamby Selvanathan, 2007. "Another look at the identical tastes hypothesis on the analysis of cross-country alcohol data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 185-215, April.
    19. Christopher Carpenter, 2004. "Heavy alcohol use and youth suicide: Evidence from tougher drunk driving laws," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 831-842.
    20. Daniel Eisenberg, 2003. "Evaluating the effectiveness of policies related to drunk driving," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 249-274.
    21. Markowitz, Sara, 2005. "Alcohol, Drugs and Violent Crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 20-44, March.
    22. Chatterji, Pinka & Dave, Daval & Kaestner, Robert & Markowitz, Sara, 2004. "Alcohol abuse and suicide attempts among youth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 159-180, June.
    23. Sass, T. & Saurman, D.S., 1993. "Efficiency Effects of Exclusive Territories: Evidence from the Indiana Beer Market," Working Papers 1993_09_03, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
    24. Ornstein, Stanley I & Hanssens, Dominique M, 1985. " Alcohol Control Laws and the Consumption of Distilled Spirits and Beer," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 200-213, September.
    25. Henry Saffer & Michael Grossman, 1986. "Beer Taxes, the Legal Drinking Age, and Youth Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 1914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Kenkel, Donald S, 1993. "Drinking, Driving, and Deterrence: The Effectiveness and Social Costs of Alternative Policies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 877-913, October.
    27. Craig A. Gallet, 2007. "The demand for alcohol: a meta-analysis of elasticities," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 51(2), pages 121-135, 06.
    28. Thomas S Dee, 2001. "Does setting limits save lives? The case of 0.08 BAC laws," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 111-128.
    29. Christopher S. Carpenter, 2005. "Heavy Alcohol Use and the Commission of Nuisance Crime: Evidence from Underage Drunk Driving Laws," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 267-272, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:32:y:2012:i:4:p:379-392. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.