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The Effect of Alcohol Prohibition on Illicit-Drug-Related Crimes

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  • Conlin, Michael
  • Dickert-Conlin, Stacy
  • Pepper, John

Abstract

We evaluate the effect of alcohol access on drug-related crime and mortality using detailed information on access laws in Texas between 1978 and 1996. Counties with alcohol access have higher average levels of drug-related crimes. However, after controlling for both county and year fixed effects, we find that having local alcohol access decreases crime associated with illicit drugs. This basic finding is replicated in two alternative analyses. First, we find that prohibiting the sale of beer to persons under 21, which arguably increases the implicit price of liquor more for juveniles in wet counties than for those in dry counties, increases the fraction of drug-related arrests involving juveniles more in wet counties than in dry counties. Second, we find that after controlling for both county and year fixed effects, local alcohol access decreases mortality associated with illicit drugs. Alcohol access and illicit-drug-related outcomes appear to be substitutes.

Suggested Citation

  • Conlin, Michael & Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Pepper, John, 2005. "The Effect of Alcohol Prohibition on Illicit-Drug-Related Crimes," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 215-234, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2005:v:48:i:1:p:215-34
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/428017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 396-418, June.
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    3. Baughman, Reagan & Conlin, Michael & Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Pepper, John, 2001. "Slippery when wet: the effects of local alcohol access laws on highway safety," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 1089-1096, November.
    4. Frank J. Chaloupka & Adit Laixuthai, 1997. "Do Youths Substitute Alcohol and Marijuana? Some Econometric Evidence," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 253-276, Summer.
    5. Dee, Thomas S., 1999. "State alcohol policies, teen drinking and traffic fatalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 289-315, May.
    6. Baltagi, Badi H & Griffin, James M, 1995. "A Dynamic Demand Model for Liquor: The Case for Pooling," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 545-554, August.
    7. Carpenter, Christopher, 2004. "How do Zero Tolerance Drunk Driving Laws work?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 61-83, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin, 2010. "Alcohol Regulation and Crime," NBER Chapters,in: Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs, pages 291-329 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Christopher S. Carpenter, 2005. "Heavy Alcohol Use and the Commission of Nuisance Crime: Evidence from Underage Drunk Driving Laws," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 267-272, May.
    3. Benjamin Hansen & Keaton Miller & Caroline Weber, 2017. "The Grass is Greener on the Other Side: How Extensive is the Interstate Trafficking of Recreational Marijuana?," NBER Working Papers 23762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. Fernandez, Jose & Gohmann, Stephan & Pinkston, Joshua, 2015. "Breaking Bad: Are Meth Labs Justified in Dry Counties?," MPRA Paper 66274, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Chu, Yu-Wei Luke, 2014. "The effects of medical marijuana laws on illegal marijuana use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 43-61.

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