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Criminal Violence and Alcohol Beverage Control: Evidence from an International Study

  • Sara Markowitz

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the price of alcoholic beverages and the incidence of criminal violence in different countries around the world. The positive association between alcoholic beverage consumption and violence is well documented, as is the negative relationship between the quantity of alcohol consumed and its price. These two relationships together form the principal hypothesis of whether increases in alcoholic beverage prices will directly decrease the incidence of criminal violence. The data come from the 1989 and 1992 International Victimization Surveys. The sample used in this paper is comprised of almost 50,000 respondents in 16 different countries. The respondents were asked if they had been victims of three types of violent crimes in the past year: robbery, assault, and sexual assault (female respondents only). A reduced form model is estimated where the probability of being a victim of violent crime is determined by the price of alcohol, variables describing the area the person lives in, and other socio-economic characteristics of the respondent. Country fixed effects are also employed in some models. Results indicate that higher alcoholic beverage prices lead to lower incidences of all three types of violent crime in models where country fixed effects are not included. Results from models which include country fixed effects are not reliable.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7481.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
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Publication status: published as "The Economic Analysis of Substance Use and Abuse: The Experience of Developed Countries and Lessons for Developing Countries," edited by Michael Grossman and Chee-Ruey Hsieh, Edward Elgar Limited, United Kingdom, 2001.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7481
Note: HE
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  1. 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.
  2. Grossman, Michael & Chaloupka, Frank J & Sirtalan, Ismail, 1998. "An Empirical Analysis of Alcohol Addiction: Results from the Monitoring the Future Panels," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 39-48, January.
  3. Saffer, Henry, 1991. "Alcohol advertising bans and alcohol abuse: An international perspective," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 65-79, May.
  4. Sara Markowitz & Michael Grossman, 1998. "The Effects of Alcohol Regulation on Physical Child Abuse," NBER Working Papers 6629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Manning, Willard G. & Blumberg, Linda & Moulton, Lawrence H., 1995. "The demand for alcohol: The differential response to price," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 123-148, June.
  6. 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.
  7. Sara Markowitz, 1999. "The Price of Alcohol, Wife Abuse, and Husband Abuse," NBER Working Papers 6916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Michael Grossman & Sara Markowitz, 1999. "Alcohol Regulation and Violence on College Campuses," NBER Working Papers 7129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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