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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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    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.
    10. Kenkel, Donald S, 1993. "Drinking, Driving, and Deterrence: The Effectiveness and Social Costs of Alternative Policies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 877-913, October.
    11. Robert W. Brown & R. Todd Jewell, 1996. "County-Level Alcohol Availability and Cirrhosis Mortality," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 291-301, Summer.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Harding, Matthew & Lovenheim, Michael, 2017. "The effect of prices on nutrition: Comparing the impact of product- and nutrient-specific taxes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 53-71.
    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 215-234, April.
    3. Christopher Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin, 2009. "The Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Mortality: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from the Minimum Drinking Age," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 164-182, January.
    4. Chad Cotti & Richard A. Dunn & Nathan Tefft, 2013. "Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Crash Risk and the Location of Alcohol Purchase," Working Papers 23, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
    5. Adams, Scott & Cotti, Chad, 2008. "Drunk driving after the passage of smoking bans in bars," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1288-1305, June.
    6. Daniel Albalate, 2007. "Lowering blood alcohol content levels to save lives: A European case study," Working Papers in Economics 173, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    7. Beth A. Freeborn & Brian McManus, 2010. "Substance Abuse Treatment and Motor Vehicle Fatalities," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 1032-1048, April.
    8. Daniel Albalate, 2008. "Lowering blood alcohol content levels to save lives: The European experience," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 20-39.
    9. Masayo Sato & Yasushi Ohkusa, 2003. "An Empirical Study of Alcoholic Consumption and Labor Productivity in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0581, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    10. Cotti, Chad & Dunn, Richard A. & Tefft, Nathan, 2014. "Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crash risk and the location of alcohol purchase," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 201-209.
    11. Marcos Yamada Nakaguma & Brandon Restrepo, 2014. "Unintended Benefits of Election Day Alcohol Bans: Evidence from Road Crashes and Hospitalizations in Brazil," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2014_21, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    12. Lovenheim, Michael F. & Slemrod, Joel, 2010. "The fatal toll of driving to drink: The effect of minimum legal drinking age evasion on traffic fatalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 62-77, January.
    13. Cotti Chad & Tefft Nathan, 2011. "Decomposing the Relationship between Macroeconomic Conditions and Fatal Car Crashes during the Great Recession: Alcohol- and Non-Alcohol-Related Accidents," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-24, August.
    14. Cotti, Chad D. & Walker, Douglas M., 2010. "The impact of casinos on fatal alcohol-related traffic accidents in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 788-796, December.

    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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