Alcohol Ban and Crime: The ABC's of the Bihar Prohibition


We study the relationship between alcohol consumption and crime, following an alcoholprohibition in Bihar in 2016. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we explore the differential effects of alcohol on different crime types. We find that the prohibition led to a 0.22 standard deviation point reduction in reported violent crimes without significantly impacting nonviolent crimes. Heterogeneity tests reveal stronger effects in interior districts and those with higher baseline alcohol consumption or fewer religious restrictions on alcohol consumption. Thus, we conclude that the ban affected crime by reducing alcohol availability and consumption, rather than through institutional changes.

Economic Development and Cultural Change; Just Accepted