Alcohol Consumption, Deterrence and Crime in New York City

Hope Corman, Naci H. Mocan

NBER Working Paper No. 18731
Issued in January 2013
NBER Program(s):Health Economics, Law and Economics, Labor Studies, Public Economics

This paper investigates the relationship between alcohol consumption, deterrence, and crime for New York City. We examine high-frequency time-series data from 1983 to 2001 for one specific location to examine the impacts of variations in both alcohol consumption and deterrence on seven "index" crimes. We tackle the endogeneity of arrests and the police force by exploiting the temporal independence of crime and deterrence in these high-frequency data, and we address the endogeneity of alcohol by using instrumental variables where alcohol sales are instrumented with city and state alcohol taxes and minimum drinking age. We find that alcohol consumption is positively related to assault, rape, and larceny crimes but not murder, robbery, burglary, or motor vehicle theft. We find strong deterrence for all crimes except assault and rape. Generally, deterrence effects are stronger than alcohol effects.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18731

Published: Journal of Labor Research June 2015, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 103-128 Date: 13 Mar 2015 Alcohol Consumption, Deterrence and Crime in New York City Hope Corman, Naci Mocan

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