Poster Paper: Alcohol Ban and Crime: The Abc's of the Bihar Prohibition

Saturday, November 9, 2019
Plaza Building: Concourse Level, Plaza Exhibits (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Kalyani Chaudhuri1, Natasha Jha2, Mrithyunjayan Nilayamgode3 and Revathy Suryanarayana2, (1)University of California, Davis, (2)Cornell University, (3)University of Virginia

The relationship between crime and alcohol consumption is a significant policy concern. This paper studies whether a total prohibition of alcohol can be effective in reducing crime in the context of a developing country. Using a difference-in-differences research design in the context of a prohibition imposed in the Indian state of Bihar, we provide evidence that the ban led to a reduction in the incidence of violent crimes (0.21 standard deviation)
with no significant impact on non-violent crimes. Moreover, by employing a host of heterogeneity tests we try to isolate the channel through which these effects are operating. Our results are robust to alternate specifications including the use of a synthetic control group.