Alcohol Regulation and Violence Towards Children

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National Bureau of Economic Research, 1998 - Liquor laws - 33 pages
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In recent years, economists have paid much attention to the demand for alcohol and the negative externalities associated with excessive drinking. Largely ignored in the literature is the link between alcohol use and domestic violence. Given the established positive relationship between alcohol consumption and acts of violence, the purpose of this paper is to examine the role changes in the determinants of the demand for alcohol may play in reducing the incidence of violence aimed at children. Data on violence come from the 1976 Physical Violence in American Families survey. We estimate a reduced form demand model in which violent outcomes are affected by the state excise tax rate on beer, illegal drug prices and other regulatory variables such as availability measures and laws restricting advertising of alcohol. Results show that increasing the tax on beer can be an effective policy tool in reducing violence. Laws designed to make obtaining beer more difficult may also be effective in reducing violence, while restrictions on advertising and increases in illegal drug prices have no effects.

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