'Beer, booze and brawls: Evidence on the causal effect of alcohol on crime for Prussia, 1882-1912' - with Carsten Burhop (University of Cologne)
This paper analyzes the causal effect of alcohol on crime based on unique panel data from Prussia for the years 1882 to 1912. Using exogenous variation in beer consumption induced by lagged weather conditions (that affected spring barley yield) we identify a quantitatively and qualitatively significant effect of beer consumption on violent crimes. Our estimates suggest that a one percent increase of beer consumption leads to a 0.7 percent increase of violent crimes. The finding is driven by the effect of beer on assaults, battery, and brawls. In contrast, we do not find an effect on major violent crimes, as robbery or homicide. The data further indicate that beer consumption has in general no effect on property crime. Yet, for adolescent criminals we do find a positive effect of beer on property crime.
For an extended abstract see the document below.