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Taxing sin and saving lives: Can alcohol taxation reduce female homicides?

Listed author(s):
  • Durrance, Christine Piette
  • Golden, Shelley
  • Perreira, Krista
  • Cook, Philip
Registered author(s):

    With costs exceeding $5.8 billion per year, violence against women has significant ramifications for victims, their families, the health care systems that treat them, and the employers who depend on their labor. Prior research has found that alcohol abuse contributes to violence against both men and women, and that stringent alcohol control policies can reduce alcohol consumption and in turn some forms of violence. In this paper, we estimate the direct relationship between an important alcohol control measure, excise taxes, and the most extreme form of violence, homicide. We use female homicide rates as our measure of severe violence, as this measure is consistently and accurately reported across multiple years. Our results provide evidence that increased alcohol taxes reduce alcohol consumption and that reductions in alcohol consumption can reduce femicide. Unfortunately, a direct test of the relationship does not have the power to determine whether alcohol taxes effectively reduce female homicide rates. We conclude that while alcohol taxes have been shown to effectively reduce other forms of violence against women, policy makers may need alternative policy levers to reduce the most severe form of violence against women.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027795361100284X
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (July)
    Pages: 169-176

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:1:p:169-176
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    1. Markowitz, Sara & Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The effects of beer taxes on physical child abuse," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 271-282, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Christopher Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin, 2010. "Alcohol Regulation and Crime," NBER Working Papers 15828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1995. "Alcohol Policies and Highway Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 5195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Sara Markowitz, 1999. "The Price of Alcohol, Wife Abuse, and Husband Abuse," NBER Working Papers 6916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Philip J. Cook & George Tauchen, 1982. "The Effect of Liquor Taxes on Heavy Drinking," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 379-390, Autumn.
    7. Philip J. Cook & Bethany Peters, 2005. "The Myth of the Drinker's Bonus," NBER Working Papers 11902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Young, Douglas J & BieliĀ“nska-Kwapisz, Agnieszka, 2002. "Alcohol Taxes and Beverage Prices," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(1), pages 57-73, March.
    9. Christopher Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin, 2009. "The Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Mortality: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from the Minimum Drinking Age," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 164-182, January.
    10. 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.
    11. Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Saffer & Michael Grossman, 1991. "Alcohol Control Policies and Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 3831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Philip J. Cook & Jens Ludwig, 2006. "Aiming for evidence-based gun policy," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 691-735.
    13. Markowitz, Sara, 2005. "Alcohol, Drugs and Violent Crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 20-44, March.
    14. Philip J. Cook & Jan Ostermann & Frank A. Sloan, 2005. "Are Alcohol Excise Taxes Good For Us? Short and Long-Term Effects on Mortality Rates," NBER Working Papers 11138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. 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.
    16. repec:ntj:journl:v:55:y:2002:i:n._1:p:57-73 is not listed on IDEAS
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