Reducing Binge Drinking? The Effect of a Ban on Late-Night Off-Premise Alcohol Sales on Alcohol-Related Hospital Stays in Germany

Discussion Papers 1443, 58 S.

Jan Marcus, Thomas Siedler


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Published in: Journal of Public Economics 123 (2015), 55-77


Excessive alcohol consumption among young people is a major public health concern. On March 1, 2010, the German state of Baden-Württemberg banned the sale of alcoholic beverages between 10pm and 5am at off-premise outlets (e.g., gas stations, kiosks, supermarkets). We use rich monthly administrative data from a 70 percent random sample of all hospitalizations during the years 2007-2011 in Germany in order to evaluate the short-term impact of this policy on alcohol-related hospitalizations. Applying difference-in-differences methods, we find that the policy change reduces alcohol-related hospitalizations among adolescents and young adults by about seven percent. There is also evidence of a decrease in the number of hospitalizations due to violent assault as a result of the ban.

Jan Marcus

Juniorprofessor in the Education and Family Department

Topics: Health

JEL-Classification: I12;I18;D04
Keywords: Binge drinking, drinking hours, alcohol control policies, difference-in-differences, hospital diagnosis statistics, alcohol
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