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Estimating the Relationship between Alcohol Policies and Criminal Violence and Victimization

  • Sara Markowitz
  • Erik Nesson
  • Eileen Poe-Yamagata
  • Curtis Florence
  • Partha Deb
  • Tracy Andrews
  • Sarah Beth L. Barnett

Violence is one of the leading social problems in the United States. The development of appropriate public policies to curtail violence is confounded by the relationship between alcohol and violence. In this paper, we estimate the propensity of alcohol control policies to reduce the perpetration and victimization of criminal violence. We measure violence with data on individual level victimizations from the U.S. National Crime Victimization Survey. We examine the effects of a number of different alcohol control policies in reducing violent crime. These policies include the retail price of beer, drunk driving laws and penalties, keg laws, and serving and selling laws. We find some evidence of a negative relationship between alcohol prices and the probability of alcohol or drug related assault victimizations. However, we find no strong evidence that other alcohol policies are effective in reducing violent crimes. These results provide policy makers with guidance on potential approaches for reducing violence through alcohol beverage control.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 13 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 416-435

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:13:y:2012:i:4:p:416-435
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  1. Sijbren Cnossen, 2007. "Alcohol taxation and regulation in the European Union," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(6), pages 699-732, December.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Ciro Biderman & João Manoel Pinho de Mello & Alexandre A Schneider, 2006. "Dry law and homicides: evidence from the São Paulo metropolitan area," Textos para discussão 518, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil), revised Oct 2008.
  6. Kent Matthews & Jonathan Shepherd & Vaseekaran Sivarajasingham, 2006. "Violence-related injury and the price of beer in England and Wales," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(6), pages 661-670.
  7. Sara Markowitz, 1999. "The Price of Alcohol, Wife Abuse, and Husband Abuse," NBER Working Papers 6916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Carpenter, Christopher & Dobkin, Carlos, 2010. "Alcohol Regulation And Crime," Working Papers 90485, American Association of Wine Economists.
  9. Jeffrey DeSimone, 1999. "The Effect of Cocaine Prices on Crime," Working Papers 9907, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
  10. Markowitz, Sara, 2005. "Alcohol, Drugs and Violent Crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 20-44, March.
  11. Michael Grossman & Sara Markowitz, 1999. "Alcohol Regulation and Violence on College Campuses," NBER Working Papers 7129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong, 2001. "Alcohol Availability and Crime: Evidence from Census Tract Data," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(1), pages 2-21, July.
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