alcohol availability & alcohol consumption: new evidence from sunday sales restrictions
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DESCRIPTIONAlcohol Availability & Alcohol Consumption: New Evidence from Sunday Sales Restrictions. Kitt Carpenter (UC Irvine) & Daniel Eisenberg (University of Michigan) Comments welcome (email@example.com). Motivation. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Alcohol Availability &Alcohol Consumption:New Evidence from Sunday Sales RestrictionsKitt Carpenter (UC Irvine) &Daniel Eisenberg (University of Michigan)
Comments welcome (firstname.lastname@example.org)
MotivationLarge body of evidence in economics and public health that links alcohol availability and alcohol consumption.
Availability as measured by:Prices, taxesAge restrictionsProximity to liquor stores
Our Paper: Sunday Sales PoliciesAll states allow alcohol to be purchased on Sundays for on-premise consumption (e.g. at bars & restaurants).
States and provinces vary as to whether alcohol can be purchased on Sundays for off-premise consumption (e.g. at home).Some have no restrictionsSome prohibit entirelySome allow localities to decide
Sunday Sales Map: 2006 (APIS)
BackgroundBlue laws have been around since before the Revolutionary war.
Prohibited shopping, working, or consuming alcohol on Sundays.
Enforcement unclear, but strong support around Prohibition era.
Policy RelevanceSince 2002, 12 states have repealed their bans on off-premise Sunday sales, trying to increase state tax revenues.Possible unintended effects:What if Sunday sales restrictions do not affect overall sales/consumption? (e.g. if they simply shift the within-week distribution?)What if bar goers substitute toward home drinking?If consumption does increase on Sundays, what if there are negative externalities? (e.g. fatalities)
Our Question:Do Blue Laws Affect Drinking?We are aware of no empirical evidence on the effects of these restrictions on alcohol consumption per se.
This is surprising, since the restrictions:are widespread (16 states prohibit SS)are nontrivial (14% of hours of sale)have directly testable implications
Related Literature - FatalitiesMcMillan et. al. (2005 AJPH)Considers New Mexicos 1995 repeal of its Sunday sales ban.Finds extremely large fatality increases (42%)
Smith (78, 87, 88a, 88b, 90)Uses Australian city/state introduction of Sunday trading hours, controls for changes in outcomes on other days of the week.Finds extremely large fatality increases (32-100%).
Data Requirements For This StudyGeographic identifiers & day-specific alcohol consumption outcomes.
In US: NLAES 1992 (N ~ 40,000)In Canada: NPHS 1994-99 (N ~ 57,000)We use the data as repeated cross-sections to take advantage of large Ontario buy-in in 1996/97
Cross-Section Drinking Model: OLSDay-specific drinking outcome = + 1X + 2(Sunday sales allowed) + 3Z + Jd +
X includes: race, education, sex, marital status, veteran status, employment dummiesJd are Census division indicators (US only)Z is state ACCRA real beer, wine, and spirits prices (US only)
Coefficient is: Sunday Sales OKUS: NLAES 1992
Alternative Model: Any Drinks
Coefficient is: Sunday Sales OKCanadian NPHS 1994-1999
Interpreting Cross-Section ResultsPatterns of coefficients support a causal effect of Sunday sales restrictions on point in time consumption.Modest evidence of Monday/Tuesday spillovers & Friday/Saturday substitution.Estimates consistent with a small but nontrivial effect of Sunday sales on overall population drinking.
Remaining Unobservables?What if unobserved characteristics about states are correlated not only with overall alcohol consumption but also day-specific consumption?Religiosity may be correlated both with the presence of a Sunday sales restriction and lower drinking on Sundays.
Goal: isolate a plausibly exogenous change in Sunday-specific availability.
Ontarios policy changeAlcohol sales are heavily regulated by the Canadian provincial governments.In Ontario, off-premise alcohol sales only available at LCBOs (not at supermarkets).
Prior to 1997, allowed some Sunday sales at a few Nov/Dec holidays.After 1997, Sunday sales ok.No other province changed Sunday alcohol sales policy over this period.
Diff-in-Diff Drinking Model: OLSDay-specific drinking outcome = + 1X + 2(After 1997) + 3(Ontario) + 4(After 1997 * Ontario) +
X includes: race, education, sex, marital status, employment dummiesRobust standard errors clustered on province.
Coefficient is: Ontario * After 97Canadian NPHS 1994-1999
Interpreting the DD ResultsConsistent with a causal effect of Sunday sales restrictions on Sunday alcohol consumptionModest evidence of effects on overall population drinkingEffect sizes slightly smaller than those implied by cross-sectional resultsRelevant subsamples are significant at 5% (prime age adults, females)
ImplicationsWe have not evaluated the overall costs/benefits of liberalizing Sunday sales policies.Main benefits are reductions in inconvenience costs.Modest consumption effects suggest health costs are unlikely to be severe, though this requires more research.
Next StepsCanadian Community Health Survey (2001 and 2003), very large samples (100K each)
Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS)1992: Do day-specific fatalities mirror our day-specific consumption patterns?More recently, do repeals of Sunday sales bans affect day-specific fatalities?
Comments welcome (email@example.com)
Be sure to note how partial bans (where localities can decide) are colored here