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Alcohol Regulation and Crime

In: Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs

  • Christopher Carpenter
  • Carlos Dobkin

We provide a critical review of research in economics that has examined causal relationships between alcohol use and crime. We lay out several causal pathways through which alcohol regulation and alcohol consumption may affect crime, including: direct pharmacological effects on aggression, reaction time, and motor impairment; excuse motivations; venues and social interactions; and victimization risk. We focus our review on four main types of alcohol regulations: price/tax restrictions, age-based availability restrictions, spatial availability restrictions, and temporal availability restrictions. We conclude that there is strong evidence that tax- and age-based restrictions on alcohol availability reduce crime, and we discuss implications for policy and practice.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Philip Cook & Jens Ludwig & Justin McCrary, 2011. "Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number cook10-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12092.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12092
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

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    1. Dee, Thomas S., 1999. "State alcohol policies, teen drinking and traffic fatalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 289-315, May.
    2. 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 215-34, April.
    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. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ember, Rudolf, 2001. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 259-83, April.
    5. 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.
    6. Stehr, Mark, 2007. "The Effect of Sunday Sales Bans and Excise Taxes on Drinking and Cross–Border Shopping for Alcoholic Beverages," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(1), pages 85-105, March.
    7. Michael Grossman & Sara Markowitz, 1999. "Alcohol Regulation and Violence on College Campuses," NBER Working Papers 7129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Gordon Dahl & Stefano DellaVigna, 2007. "Does Movie Violence Increase Violent Crime?," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001778, David K. Levine.
    9. 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.
    10. Carpenter Christopher S & Kloska Deborah D & O'Malley Patrick & Johnston Lloyd, 2007. "Alcohol Control Policies and Youth Alcohol Consumption: Evidence from 28 Years of Monitoring the Future," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-23, May.
    11. 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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