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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sara Markowitz, 2000. "Criminal Violence and Alcohol Beverage Control: Evidence from an International Study," NBER Working Papers 7481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7481
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sara Markowitz, 2000. "The Price of Alcohol, Wife Abuse, and Husband Abuse," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 279-303, July.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Saffer, Henry, 1991. "Alcohol advertising bans and alcohol abuse: An international perspective," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 65-79, May.
    6. Sara Markowitz & Michael Grossman, 1998. "The Effects of Alcohol Regulation on Physical Child Abuse," NBER Working Papers 6629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Michael Grossman & Sara Markowitz, 1999. "Alcohol Regulation and Violence on College Campuses," NBER Working Papers 7129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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, July.
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Markowitz, Sara, 2005. "Alcohol, Drugs and Violent Crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 20-44, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Arlen Guarin & Carlos Medina & Jorge Andres Tamayo, 2013. "The Effects of Punishment of Crime in Colombia on Deterrence, Incapacitation, and Human Capital Formation," Research Department Publications IDB-WP-420, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    4. Zimmerman, Paul R. & Benson, Bruce L., 2007. "Alcohol and rape: An "economics-of-crime" perspective," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 442-473, December.
    5. Andrienko Yury, 2002. "What Determines Crime in Russian Regions?," EERC Working Paper Series 99-252e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    6. Mehlum, Halvor & Miguel, Edward & Torvik, Ragnar, 2004. "Rainfall, Poverty and Crime in 19th Century Germany," Memorandum 04/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    7. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong, 2006. "Neighborhood income, alcohol availability, and crime rates," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 21-44, March.
    8. John M. Gowdy, 2010. "Behavioral economics, neuroeconomics, and climate change policy: baseline review for the garrison institute initiative on climate change," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 1010, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
    9. Sara Markowitz, 2000. "An Economic Analysis of Alcohol, Drugs, and Violent Crime in the National Crime Victimization Survey," NBER Working Papers 7982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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