Geographic Access and Demand in the Market for Alcohol
Policy in many regions restricts geographic access to alcohol by reducing the number of outlets where alcohol is available for purchase. In previous studies, imprecise measures of access and the lack of a theoretical framework have caused improper economic interpretations of how reducing access should affect consumer behavior. This paper makes several improvements in the study of geographic access to alcohol, employing new economic theory, new techniques for measuring access, and spatial econometric techniques. We find that although reducing access does reduce apparent per capita consumption of liquor, economic theory suggests that many alcohol-related problems are unlikely to be affected.
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