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Wet Laws, Drinking Establishments, and Violent Crime

Author

Listed:
  • Anderson, D. Mark

    () (Montana State University)

  • Crost, Benjamin

    () (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

  • Rees, Daniel I.

    () (University of Colorado Denver)

Abstract

Drawing on county-level data from Kansas for the period 1977-2011, we examine whether plausibly exogenous increases in the number of establishments licensed to sell alcohol by the drink are related to violent crime. During this period, 86 out of 105 counties in Kansas voted to legalize the sale of alcohol to the general public for on-premises consumption. We provide evidence that these counties experienced substantial increases in the total number of establishments with on-premises liquor licenses (e.g., bars and restaurants). Using legalization as an instrument, we show that a 10 percent increase in drinking establishments is associated with a 4 percent increase in violent crime. Reduced-form estimates suggest that legalizing the sale of alcohol to the general public for on-premises consumption is associated with an 11 percent increase in violent crime.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, D. Mark & Crost, Benjamin & Rees, Daniel I., 2014. "Wet Laws, Drinking Establishments, and Violent Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 8718, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8718
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jhecon:v:57:y:2018:i:c:p:277-289 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hansen, Benjamin & Waddell, Glen R., 2018. "Legal access to alcohol and criminality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 277-289.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    alcohol; liquor licenses; crime;

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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