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Estimating the Relationship between Alcohol Policies and Criminal Violence and Victimization

  • Sara Markowitz
  • Erik Nesson
  • Eileen Poe-Yamagata
  • Curtis Florence
  • Partha Deb
  • Tracy Andrews
  • Sarah Beth L. Barnett

Violence is one of the leading social problems in the United States. The development of appropriate public policies to curtail violence is confounded by the relationship between alcohol and violence. In this paper, we estimate the propensity of alcohol control policies to reduce the perpetration and victimization of criminal violence. We measure violence with data on individual level victimizations from the U.S. National Crime Victimization Survey. We examine the effects of a number of different alcohol control policies in reducing violent crime. These policies include the retail price of beer, drunk driving laws and penalties, keg laws, and serving and selling laws. We find some evidence of a negative relationship between alcohol prices and the probability of alcohol or drug related assault victimizations. However, we find no strong evidence that other alcohol policies are effective in reducing violent crimes. These results provide policy makers with guidance on potential approaches for reducing violence through alcohol beverage control.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17918.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17918.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Publication status: published as Sara Markowitz & Erik Nesson & Eileen Poe-Yamagata & Curtis Florence & Partha Deb & Tracy Andrews & Sarah Beth L. Barnett, 2012. "Estimating the Relationship between Alcohol Policies and Criminal Violence and Victimization," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(4), pages 416-435, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17918
Note: HE LE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Kent Matthews & Jonathan Shepherd & Vaseekaran Sivarajasingham, 2006. "Violence-related injury and the price of beer in England and Wales," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(6), pages 661-670.
  2. Ciro Biderman & Jo�oMP DeMello & Alexandre Schneider, 2010. "Dry Laws and Homicides: Evidence from the S�o Paulo Metropolitan Area," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 157-182, 03.
  3. Christopher Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin, 2010. "Alcohol Regulation and Crime," NBER Working Papers 15828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sara Markowitz, 1999. "The Price of Alcohol, Wife Abuse, and Husband Abuse," NBER Working Papers 6916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Markowitz, Sara, 2005. "Alcohol, Drugs and Violent Crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 20-44, March.
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  7. 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.
  8. Michael Grossman & Sara Markowitz, 1999. "Alcohol Regulation and Violence on College Campuses," NBER Working Papers 7129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Sijbren Cnossen, 2007. "Alcohol taxation and regulation in the European Union," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(6), pages 699-732, December.
  10. Jeffrey DeSimone, 1999. "The Effect of Cocaine Prices on Crime," Working Papers 9907, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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