Designing Policy in Weak States: Unintended Consequences of Alcohol Prohibition in Bihar

Dar, A and Sahay, A (2018) Designing Policy in Weak States: Unintended Consequences of Alcohol Prohibition in Bihar. Working Paper. SSRN.

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We study the impact of an alcohol-prohibition policy on crime in the Indian state
of Bihar, where nearly 1.5 percent of the world’s population lives. Using a differencein-difference empirical strategy, we show that banning the sale and consumption of
alcohol led to an increase in crime, even after adjusting for prohibition-related cases.
The rise in violent and property crime is highest in districts with greater black-market
prices of country liquor. Since state capacity and supply of police is fixed, diverting
law enforcement resources towards implementing the alcohol ban effectively reduces
institutional bandwidth to prevent crimes. The findings can be reconciled with a model
where crime is deterred by both police enforcement and collective action. In places
where public support for the policy was strongest, the rise in crime was found to be
the smallest. Our results caution against ‘big-bang reforms’ in states with weak institutions

Affiliation: Indian School of Business
ISB Creiators:
ISB Creators
Dar, A
Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: The research paper was published by the author with the affiliation of George Washington University.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alcohol Prohibition, Crime, Collective Action
Subjects: Economics
Depositing User: Gurusrinivasan K
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2021 05:18
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2021 05:18
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