Local Option, Alcohol and Crime
29 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2010 Last revised: 19 Nov 2015
Date Written: December 15, 2011
With the end of National Prohibition in 1933, thirty states gave counties and municipalities the local option to continue alcohol restrictions. Currently, 10% of U.S. counties still maintain a ban on some or all alcohol sales. Since the Prohibition movement advanced on the association between alcohol use and criminal behavior, this research examines the impact of county level alcohol restrictions on multiple types of crime across five U.S. states. Standard panel models find a positive relationship between local option policy changes to allow alcohol and crime. The novelty of this research involves comparing the impact of alcohol restrictions on crimes often committed under the influence of alcohol versus crimes commonly committed without the use of alcohol. A difference-in-difference-in-difference estimator shows that increasing access to alcohol has no impact on crime types often committed under the influence of alcohol.
Keywords: alcohol policy, local option, crime
JEL Classification: K4, H7
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation