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Slippery When Wet: The Effects of Local Alcohol Access Laws on Highway Safety

Author

Listed:
  • Reagan Baughman
  • Michael Conlin
  • Stacy Dickert-Conlin
  • John Pepper

Abstract

This paper examines 237 instances of policy changes related to alcohol sales and consumption enacted in Texas communities between 1975 and 1996 to determine their effect on the incidence of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents. These policies are categorized by location where the alcohol is consumed after sale (on the premises or off) and the type of alcohol available for consumption (beer and wine or hard liquor). After controlling for both county and year fixed effects, we find evidence that (i) the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises (in bars and restaurants) is associated with a sizeable increase in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents, (ii) the sale of alcohol (in liquor stores) for consumption off the premises may actually decrease expected accidents, and (iii) the sale of higher proof alcohol (hard liquor) presents greater risk to highway safety.

Suggested Citation

  • Reagan Baughman & Michael Conlin & Stacy Dickert-Conlin & John Pepper, 2000. "Slippery When Wet: The Effects of Local Alcohol Access Laws on Highway Safety," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 31, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  • Handle: RePEc:max:cprwps:31
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1996. "Alcohol policies and highway vehicle fatalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 435-454, August.
    2. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 1994. "This Tax's for You: The Case for Higher Beer Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 47(3), pages 559-573, September.
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    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. Chaloupka, Frank J & Saffer, Henry & Grossman, Michael, 1993. "Alcohol-Control Policies and Motor-Vehicle Fatalities," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 161-186, January.
    7. Henry Saffer & Michael Grossman, 1986. "Beer Taxes, the Legal Drinking Age, and Youth Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 1914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    9. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 1994. "This Tax's for You: The Case for Higher Beer Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(3), pages 559-73, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law

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