Alcohol, Violence and Injury-Induced Mortality: Evidence from a Modern-Day Prohibition

85 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2022

See all articles by Kai Barron

Kai Barron

WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Charles DH Parry

South African Medical Research Council - Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit

Debbie Bradshaw

South African Medical Research Council - Burden of Disease Research Unit

Rob Dorrington

University of Cape Town (UCT)

Pam Groenewald

South African Medical Research Council

Ria Laubscher

South African Medical Research Council

Richard Matzopoulos

South African Medical Research Council

Date Written: 2022

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 behaviour 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.

Keywords: alcohol, mortality, economics, health, crime, South Africa, Covid-19, violence

JEL Classification: I180, I120, K420

Suggested Citation

Barron, Kai and Parry, Charles DH and Bradshaw, Debbie and Dorrington, Rob and Groenewald, Pam and Laubscher, Ria and Matzopoulos, Richard, Alcohol, Violence and Injury-Induced Mortality: Evidence from a Modern-Day Prohibition (2022). CESifo Working Paper No. 9595, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4043319 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4043319

Kai Barron (Contact Author)

WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/kaibarron/

Charles DH Parry

South African Medical Research Council - Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit ( email )

Cape Town
South Africa

Debbie Bradshaw

South African Medical Research Council - Burden of Disease Research Unit

South Africa

Rob Dorrington

University of Cape Town (UCT) ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

Pam Groenewald

South African Medical Research Council ( email )

296 Umbilo Rd.
Durban 4000
South Africa

Ria Laubscher

South African Medical Research Council ( email )

296 Umbilo Rd.
Durban 4000
South Africa

Richard Matzopoulos

South African Medical Research Council ( email )

296 Umbilo Rd.
Durban 4000
South Africa

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