Alcohol Availability and Crime: Lessons from Liberalized Weekend Sales Restrictions
2011 (English)Report (Other academic)
In February 2000, the Swedish state monopoly alcohol retail company launched a largescale experiment in which all stores in selected counties were allowed to keep open onSaturdays. We assess the effects on crime of this expansion in access to alcohol. Toisolate the impact of the experiment from other factors, we compare conviction rates inage cohorts above and below the national drinking age restriction in counties where theexperiment had been implemented, and contrast these differences to those in countiesthat still prohibited weekend alcohol commerce. Our analysis relies on extensiveindividual conviction data that have been merged to population registers. Afterdemonstrating that Saturday opening of alcohol shops significantly raised alcohol sales,we show that it also increased crime. The increase is confined to crimes committed onSaturdays and is driven by illegal activity among individuals with low ability and amongpersons with fathers that have completed at least some secondary education. Althoughthe increases in crime and alcohol sales were slightly higher during the initial phase ofthe experiment, our evidence suggests that both effects persist over time. Our analysisreveals that the social costs linked to the experiment exceed the monetary benefits.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI); Stockholm University , 2011. , 44 p.
Swedish Institute for Social Research, ISSN 0283-8222 ; 9/2011
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-60121OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-60121DiVA: diva2:433287