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Blind Tigers and Red-Tape Cocktails: Liquor Control and Homicide in Late-Nineteenth-Century South Carolina

Howard Bodenhorn ()

No 22980, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: In 1893 South Carolina prohibited the private manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcohol and established a state monopoly in wholesale and retail alcohol distribution. The combination of a market decline in the availability of alcohol, reduced variety, and monopoly pricing at state-operated outlets encouraged black markets in alcohol. Because black market participants tend to resort to extra-legal mechanisms for dispute resolution, including violence, one result of South Carolina’s alcohol restriction was an increase in homicide. A continuous-treatment difference-in-difference approach reveals that homicide rates increased by about 30 to 60 percent in counties that more vigorously enforced the law.

JEL-codes: K14 K42 N41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-law
Note: DAE LE
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