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Alcohol, violence and injury-induced mortality: Evidence from a modern-day prohibition

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  • Barron, Kai
  • Parry, Charles D. H.
  • Bradshaw, Debbie
  • Dorrington, Rob
  • Groenewald, Pam
  • Laubscher, Ria
  • Matzopoulos, Richard

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of a sudden and unexpected nation-wide alcohol sales ban in South Africa. We find that this policy causally reduced injury-induced mortality in the country by at least 14% during the five weeks of the ban. We argue that this estimate constitutes a lower bound on the true impact of alcohol on injury-induced mortality. We also document a sharp drop in violent crimes, indicating a tight link between alcohol and aggressive behavior in society. Our results underscore the severe harm that alcohol can cause and point towards a role for policy measures that target the heaviest drinkers in society.

Suggested Citation

  • Barron, Kai & Parry, Charles D. H. & Bradshaw, Debbie & Dorrington, Rob & Groenewald, Pam & Laubscher, Ria & Matzopoulos, Richard, 2022. "Alcohol, violence and injury-induced mortality: Evidence from a modern-day prohibition," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2022-301, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2022301
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    Cited by:

    1. Barron, Kai & Parry, Charles D. H. & Bradshaw, Debbie & Dorrington, Rob & Groenewald, Pam & Laubscher, Ria & Matzopoulos, Richard, 2022. "Alcohol, violence and injury-induced mortality: Evidence from a modern-day prohibition," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2022-301, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    2. Matthias Bäuml & Jan Marcus & Thomas Siedler, 2023. "Health effects of a ban on late‐night alcohol sales," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(1), pages 65-89, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    alcohol; mortality; economics; health; crime; South Africa; COVID-19; violence;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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