Can Alcohol Prohibition Reduce Violence Against Women?

7 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2015

See all articles by Dara Lee Luca

Dara Lee Luca

Mathematica Policy Research

Emily Greene Owens

Cornell University

Gunjan Sharma

World Bank

Date Written: November 21, 2015


Violence against women is a critical problem across the world. In this paper, we exploit state and temporal variation in alcohol control in India to examine the impact of prohibition on alcohol consumption and violent crimes against women. We first use detailed household survey data to show that prohibition policies are associated with substantially lower rates of drinking among men and domestic violence. Next, we provide evidence that alcohol prohibition reduces aggregate violence against women in officially reported crime data. The results suggest that policies that restrict access to alcohol may help reduce gender violence.

Keywords: alcohol consumption, domestic violence, violence against women, prohibition, minimum legal drinking age

JEL Classification: I18, K42, J12

Suggested Citation

Luca, Dara Lee and Owens, Emily Greene and Sharma, Gunjan, Can Alcohol Prohibition Reduce Violence Against Women? (November 21, 2015). American Economic Review, Vol. 105, No. 5, 2015, Available at SSRN:

Dara Lee Luca (Contact Author)

Mathematica Policy Research ( email )

P.O. Box 2393
Princeton, NJ 08543-2393
United States

Emily Greene Owens

Cornell University ( email )

120 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Gunjan Sharma

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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