Short-Term Community-Wide Effects of School Shootings on Alcohol and Tobacco Consumption

20 Pages Posted: 9 May 2022

See all articles by Binnur Balkan

Binnur Balkan

Stockholm School of Economics; SOFI

Felix Schafmeister

Stockholm School of Economics

Date Written: May 14, 2022

Abstract

School shootings and other tragedies involving gun-violence have become commonplace in the United States. While much research has been conducted into the direct effects on affected individuals, less is known about community-level effects. We use data on grocery-store sales at the county-level to test the hypothesis that the exposure to a traumatic event induces short-run changes in purchases of alcohol and tobacco, well-known and highly accessible substances often linked to coping with traumatic events. Leveraging a specification curve design, we find that although some specifications yield statistically significant effects, there is no robust support for the main hypothesis. We close with a discussion of potential explanations and draw some methodological conclusions for future research.

Keywords: School shootings, alcohol consumption, tobacco consumption, specification curve

JEL Classification: I12, I18, I31, K4

Suggested Citation

Balkan, Binnur and Schafmeister, Felix, Short-Term Community-Wide Effects of School Shootings on Alcohol and Tobacco Consumption (May 14, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4089940 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4089940

Binnur Balkan

Stockholm School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden

SOFI ( email )

Kyrkgatan 43B
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

Felix Schafmeister (Contact Author)

Stockholm School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden

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