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Unintended Benefits of Election Day Alcohol Bans: Evidence from Road Crashes and Hospitalizations in Brazil

Marcos Yamada Nakaguma () and Brandon Restrepo

No 2014_21, Working Papers, Department of Economics from University of São Paulo (FEA-USP)

Abstract: We analyze the impact of Election Day alcohol bans on road traffic accidents, traffic-related injuries, and alcohol-related hospitalizations. Our analysis focuses on the 2012 Municipal Elections in Brazil, during which 11 out of 27 states imposed on its 2,733 municipalities the decision to implement alcohol bans. Using daily-level data on municipalities, we find that alcohol bans caused substantial reductions in road crashes (15%), traffic-related injuries (30-70%), and traffic-related hospital admissions (18%). An analysis of the hospitalization costs associated with traffic accidents reveals that banning the sale of alcohol saved Brazil’s healthcare system $150,000 per day, which is likely to be a lower bound of the total societal cost savings. Using this figure as a benchmark, we estimate the total cost savings to be up to $1 million for a one-day ban on alcohol.

Keywords: Alcohol; ban; election; drunk driving; traffic accident; road crash; hospitalization, hospital admission; cost analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-10-22
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-lam, nep-tre and nep-ure
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