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Quantifying the Local and Spatial Effects of Alcohol Outlets on Crime

33 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2016  

Andrew Palmer Wheeler

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

Date Written: November 14, 2016

Abstract

This paper estimates the relationship between alcohol outlets and crime at micro place street units in Washington, D.C. Three specific additions to this voluminous literature are articulated. First, the diffusion effect of alcohol outlets is larger than the local effect. This has important implications for crime prevention. The second is that in this sample the effects of on-premise and off-premise outlets are very similar in magnitude. I argue this is evidence in favor of routine activities theory, in opposition to theories which emphasize individual alcohol consumption. The final is that alcohol outlets have large effects on burglary, despite the fact that alcohol outlets cannot increase the number of vulnerable targets, as it can with interpersonal crimes. I discuss how this can either be interpreted as evidence that alcohol outlets self-select into already crime prone areas, or potentially that the presence of motivated offenders’ matters much more than increasing the number of potential victims.

Keywords: alcohol outlets, micro place, non-equivalent dependent variable, routine activities theory

Suggested Citation

Wheeler, Andrew Palmer, Quantifying the Local and Spatial Effects of Alcohol Outlets on Crime (November 14, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2869198

Andrew Wheeler (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences ( email )

P.O. Box 830688, GR 31
Richardson, TX 75083
United States

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