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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2016 May;40(5):1111-21. doi: 10.1111/acer.13047. Epub 2016 Apr 15.

The Effect of a Sunday Liquor-Sales Ban Repeal on Crime: A Triple-Difference Analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2
Penn Injury Science Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
3
Department of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study investigates whether alcohol availability in state-run liquor stores affects crime nearby. In 2003, Pennsylvania repealed its Sunday alcohol-sales ban for a portion of its state-run liquor stores. We capitalize on this change in alcohol policy to assess the effect of alcohol availability on crime occurring within the vicinity of liquor stores that opened on Sundays in Philadelphia.

METHODS:

We employed a 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. We used crime incident data in Philadelphia between 1998 and 2011.

RESULTS:

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. We found no evidence of the displacement of crime to nearby areas.

CONCLUSIONS:

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 shows that the repeal of Sunday alcohol-sales restrictions may increase crime in poor urban areas.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol Availability; Blue Law; Crime; Low-Socioeconomic-Status Neighborhood; Triple-Difference Analysis

PMID:
27080017
PMCID:
PMC5464788
DOI:
10.1111/acer.13047
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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