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Dry law and homicides: evidence from the São Paulo metropolitan area

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Author Info

  • Ciro Biderman

    (Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Fundação Getúlio Vargas.)

  • João Manoel Pinho de Mello

    ()
    (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)

  • Alexandre A Schneider

    (Secretary of Education,Mayorship of São Paulo.)

Abstract

Over the last 15 years, several Latin American cities have adopted dry laws, which restrain the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants during specific hours of the week. Bogotá, in 1991, was the first. Several more have followed suit, or are likely to do so in the near future. Policy makers and the general press have argued that these measures reduce crime. In this paper, we use a particular feature of the adoption of laws in the São Paulo Metropolitan Area (SPMA) to estimate the effect of dry laws on the ultimate form of violent crime: murder. Between March 2001 and August 2004, 16 out of the 39 municipalities of the SPMA have adopted, at different dates, dry laws. By comparing the dynamics of homicide between adopting and non-adopting cities, we estimate that dry laws reduce homicides by at least 10%, with an even higher effect in high crime cities. Results are robust to inclusion of a large set of controls, to propensity score matching, to outliers, and to correction possible spillover effects from adopting to non-adopting cities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil) in its series Textos para discussão with number 518.

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Length: 40p. JEL Code: I18, R58, Z00, K32
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision: Oct 2008
Handle: RePEc:rio:texdis:518

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Related research

Keywords: Dry Law; Alcohol; Crime; Difference-in-Difference;

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References

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  1. Steven D. Levitt, 2002. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effects of Police on Crime: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1244-1250, September.
  2. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "Easy Estimation Methods for Discrete-Time Duration Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 129-38, February.
  3. Markowitz, Sara, 2005. "Alcohol, Drugs and Violent Crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 20-44, March.
  4. Currie, Janet & Tekin, Erdal, 2006. "Does Child Abuse Cause Crime?," IZA Discussion Papers 2063, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Jeffrey A. Miron & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1991. "Alcohol Consumption During Prohibition," NBER Working Papers 3675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rafael Di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2004. "Do Police Reduce Crime? Estimates Using the Allocation of Police Forces After a Terrorist Attack," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 115-133, March.
  7. João Manoel Pinho de Mello & Alexandre Schneider, 2007. "Age Structure Explaining a Large Shift in Homicides: The Case of the State of São Paulo," Textos para discussão 549, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  8. Jeffrey A. Miron & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1995. "The Economic Case against Drug Prohibition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 175-192, Fall.
  9. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, 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.
  11. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
  12. Christopher Carpenter, 2007. "Heavy Alcohol Use and Crime: Evidence from Underage Drunk-Driving Laws," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 539-557.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. João M. P. de Mello & Alexandre Schneider, 2010. "Assessing São Paulo's Large Drop in Homicides: The Role of Demography and Policy Interventions," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 207-235 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Colin Green & John Heywood & Maria Navarro Paniagua, 2013. "Did liberalising English and Welsh bar hours cause traffic accidents?," Working Papers 33996659, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  3. João Manoel Pinho de Mello & Alexandre Schneider, 2007. "Age Structure Explaining a Large Shift in Homicides: The Case of the State of São Paulo," Textos para discussão 549, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  4. João Manoel Pinho de Mello, 2010. "Reassessing the Demography Hypothesis: the Great Brazilian Crime Shift," Textos para discussão 579, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  5. Grönqvist, Hans & Niknami, Susan, 2014. "Alcohol availability and crime: Lessons from liberalized weekend sales restrictions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 77-84.
  6. Soares, Rodrigo R. & Viveiros, Igor, 2010. "Organization and Information in the Fight against Crime: An Evaluation of the Integration of Police Forces in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 5270, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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).

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