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Heavy Alcohol Use and Crime: Evidence from Underage Drunk-Driving Laws

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  • Christopher Carpenter

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the causal effect of alcohol use and crime. I use variation induced by the adoption of strict zero-tolerance (ZT) drunk-driving laws, which significantly reduced binge drinking by males aged 18–20 years but did not affect slightly older males aged 22–24 years. I use age-specific arrest data for police agencies in metropolitan statistical areas to estimate the effect of ZT laws on crime, controlling for both year and police agency fixed effects. I find that ZT laws significantly increased the fraction of adult male arrests for driving under the influence attributable to 18–20-year-olds and decreased the fraction of nuisance and property crime arrests attributable to 18–20-year-olds, with no effects on violent crime. These results are validated by important null findings: ZT laws did not affect arrests in any crime category for males aged 22–24 years. These results suggest that heavy alcohol use causes the commission of property and nuisance crimes.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 50 (2007)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 539-557

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:50:y:2007:p:539-557

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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Cited by:
  1. Christopher Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin, 2010. "Alcohol Regulation and Crime," NBER Working Papers 15828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ciro Biderman & Jo�oMP DeMello & Alexandre Schneider, 2010. "Dry Laws and Homicides: Evidence from the S�o Paulo Metropolitan Area," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 157-182, 03.
  3. Lindo, Jason M. & Swensen, Isaac D. & Waddell, Glen R., 2011. "Alcohol and Student Performance: Estimating the Effect of Legal Access," IZA Discussion Papers 5525, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. D. Mark Anderson & Resul Cesur & Erdal Tekin, 2012. "Youth Depression and Future Criminal Behavior," NBER Working Papers 18656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Foreman-Peck, James & Moore, Simon C., 2010. "Gratuitous violence and the rational offender model," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 160-172, June.
  6. Jason M. Lindo & Charles F. Stoecker, 2012. "Drawn into Violence: Evidence on 'What Makes a Criminal' from the Vietnam Draft Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 17818, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Chu, Yu-Wei Luke, 2014. "The effects of medical marijuana laws on illegal marijuana use," Working Paper Series 3212, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
  8. Juan Bárcena Ruiz & F. Casado-Izaga & Hamid Hamoudi, 2014. "Optimal zoning of a mixed duopoly," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 141-153, January.
  9. Sara Markowitz & Erik Nesson & Eileen Poe-Yamagata & Curtis Florence & Partha Deb & Tracy Andrews & Sarah Beth L. Barnett, 2012. "Estimating the Relationship between Alcohol Policies and Criminal Violence and Victimization," NBER Working Papers 17918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Heaton, Paul, 2012. "Sunday liquor laws and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 42-52.
  11. João M P De Mello, 2010. "Assessing the crack hypothesis using data from a crime wave: the case of São Paulo," Textos para discussão 586, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  12. Anderson, D. Mark & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Per Se Drugged Driving Laws and Traffic Fatalities," IZA Discussion Papers 7048, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Hope Corman & Naci H. Mocan, 2013. "Alcohol Consumption, Deterrence and Crime in New York City," NBER Working Papers 18731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Chad Cotti & Richard A. Dunn & Nathan Tefft, 2013. "Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Crash Risk and the Location of Alcohol Purchase," Working Papers 23, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.

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