Price Effects and the Commerce Clause: The Case of State Wine Shipping Laws

Vanderbilt University Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions Working Paper No. 08-2012

55 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2012

See all articles by Jerry Ellig

Jerry Ellig

George Washington University - Regulatory Studies Center

Alan E. Wiseman

Vanderbilt University - Department of Political Science

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 11, 2012

Abstract

In the wake of Granholm v. Heald, numerous states passed new laws to regulate interstate direct shipment of alcohol that would seem to contradict the spirit, if not the explicit content, of the Commerce Clause. We build on existing scholarship analyzing the empirical impacts of direct shipment barriers to identify how these new laws are likely to influence local market conditions. Drawing on new data that measure posted winery prices and aggregate production levels in 2002 and 2004, we demonstrate how many of these new laws would be expected to effectively diminish, if not altogether remove, the benefits that would normally accrue to consumers from legalized interstate direct shipment of wine. While empirical analysis of price effects currently plays a very limited role in dormant Commerce Clause cases, our analysis suggests how price data can be used to ascertain whether a state restriction constitutes discrimination against out-of-state economic interests.

Keywords: commerce clause, wine, direct shipment, alcohol, three-tier system

Suggested Citation

Ellig, Jerry and Wiseman, Alan E., Price Effects and the Commerce Clause: The Case of State Wine Shipping Laws (December 11, 2012). Vanderbilt University Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions Working Paper No. 08-2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2188038 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2188038

Jerry Ellig

George Washington University - Regulatory Studies Center ( email )

805 21st St. NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States
703-375-9410 (Phone)

Alan E. Wiseman (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Department of Political Science ( email )

VU Station B #351817
Nashville, TN 37235-1817
United States

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