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Slippery When Wet: The Effects of Local Alcohol Access Laws on Highway Safety

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  • Reagan Baughman
  • Michael Conlin
  • Stacy Dickert-Conlin
  • John Pepper

Abstract

This paper examines 237 instances of policy changes related to alcohol sales and consumption enacted in Texas communities between 1975 and 1996 to determine their effect on the incidence of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents. These policies are categorized by location where the alcohol is consumed after sale (on the premises or off) and the type of alcohol available for consumption (beer and wine or hard liquor). After controlling for both county and year fixed effects, we find evidence that (i) the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises (in bars and restaurants) is associated with a sizeable increase in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents, (ii) the sale of alcohol (in liquor stores) for consumption off the premises may actually decrease expected accidents, and (iii) the sale of higher proof alcohol (hard liquor) presents greater risk to highway safety.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University in its series Center for Policy Research Working Papers with number 31.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:max:cprwps:31

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  1. David N. Figlio, 1995. "The effect of drinking age laws and alcohol-related crashes: Time-series evidence from Wisconsin," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 555-566.
  2. Adit Laixuthai & Frank J. Chaloupka, 1993. "Youth Alcohol Use And Public Policy," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 11(4), pages 70-81, October.
  3. Saffer, Henry & Grossman, Michael, 1987. "Drinking Age Laws and Highway Mortality Rates: Cause and Effect," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 403-17, July.
  4. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1996. "Alcohol policies and highway vehicle fatalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 435-454, August.
  5. 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.
  6. Dee, Thomas S., 1999. "State alcohol policies, teen drinking and traffic fatalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 289-315, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 1994. "This Tax's for You: The Case for Higher Beer Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(3), pages 559-73, September.
  9. Chaloupka, Frank J & Saffer, Henry & Grossman, Michael, 1993. "Alcohol-Control Policies and Motor-Vehicle Fatalities," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 161-86, January.
  10. Robert W. Brown & R. Todd Jewell, 1996. "County-Level Alcohol Availability and Cirrhosis Mortality," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 291-301, Summer.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Albalate, 2007. "Lowering blood alcohol content levels to save lives: A European case study," Working Papers in Economics 173, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  2. 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.
  3. Matthew Harding & Michael Lovenheim, 2014. "The Effect of Prices on Nutrition: Comparing the Impact of Product- and Nutrient-Specific Taxes," NBER Working Papers 19781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Beth A. Freeborn & Brian McManus, 2010. "Substance Abuse Treatment and Motor Vehicle Fatalities," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 1032-1048, April.
  5. Lovenheim, Michael F. & Slemrod, Joel, 2010. "The fatal toll of driving to drink: The effect of minimum legal drinking age evasion on traffic fatalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 62-77, January.
  6. Cotti, Chad D. & Walker, Douglas M., 2010. "The impact of casinos on fatal alcohol-related traffic accidents in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 788-796, December.
  7. Daniel Albalate, 2006. "Lowering blood alcohol content levels to save lives: The european experience," Working Papers CREAP20006-07, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Dec 2006.
  8. Masayo Sato & Yasushi Ohkusa, 2003. "An Empirical Study of Alcoholic Consumption and Labor Productivity in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0581, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  9. Christopher Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin, 2007. "The Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Mortality: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from the Minimum Drinking Age," NBER Working Papers 13374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Adams, Scott & Cotti, Chad, 2008. "Drunk driving after the passage of smoking bans in bars," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1288-1305, June.

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