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Alcohol availability affects local crime patterns

Date:
April 25, 2016
Source:
Research Society on Alcoholism
Summary:
Restrictions on alcohol availability may be an important crime-control policy, given that alcohol availability appears to influence crime by increasing consumption and alcohol-induced impulsivity. In 2003, Pennsylvania repealed its Sunday alcohol-sales ban for a portion of its state-run liquor stores. This paper investigates whether this change in alcohol policy, which affected alcohol availability, had an impact on crime occurring within the vicinity of liquor stores that opened on Sundays in Philadelphia.
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Restrictions on alcohol availability may be an important crime-control policy, given that alcohol availability appears to influence crime by increasing consumption and alcohol-induced impulsivity. In 2003, Pennsylvania repealed its Sunday alcohol-sales ban for a portion of its state-run liquor stores. This paper investigates whether this change in alcohol policy, which affected alcohol availability, had an impact on crime occurring within the vicinity of liquor stores that opened on Sundays in Philadelphia.

Researchers employed a triple-difference (difference-in-difference-in-differences) model that compared reported crime before versus after the change in alcohol policy, Sundays versus other days of the week, and the fraction of liquor stores affected versus not affected by the repeal. The authors utilized crime-incident data in Philadelphia between 1998 and 2011.

Results show that the repeal was associated with a significant increase in total and property crime incidents occurring around Sunday-open state liquor stores in low socioeconomic status neighborhoods. There was no consistent evidence of displacement of crime to nearby areas. This is the first triple-difference alcohol study that attempts to isolate the micro-spatial effects of a shift in alcohol availability on local crime patterns, and it shows that the repeal of Sunday alcohol-sales restrictions may increase crime in poor urban areas.


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Materials provided by Research Society on Alcoholism. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. SeungHoon Han, Charles C. Branas, John M. MacDonald. The Effect of a Sunday Liquor-Sales Ban Repeal on Crime: A Triple-Difference Analysis. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2016; DOI: 10.1111/acer.13047

Cite This Page:

Research Society on Alcoholism. "Alcohol availability affects local crime patterns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160425100417.htm>.
Research Society on Alcoholism. (2016, April 25). Alcohol availability affects local crime patterns. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 28, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160425100417.htm
Research Society on Alcoholism. "Alcohol availability affects local crime patterns." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160425100417.htm (accessed May 28, 2017).

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