Curtailing Access to Alcohol: Evidence on the Impact Over Child Outcomes in Brazil

Romina Tome , Duke University

The consequences of excessive alcohol consumption are numerous, ranging from health issues to social repercussions. Apart from having a direct effect on drinkers’ health, access to alcohol may influence community and intra-household dynamics leading to subtler repercussions on other household members, including infants. Still, broader consequences of alcohol access have received little attention from the literature. This article examines the impact of prenatal exposure to a less alcohol-friendly environment on children’s health at birth. It takes advantage of the adoption of mandatory closing hours of bars in Brazil. I exploit the geographic variation in the timing of the adoption of these laws using a difference-in-differences strategy. Capitalizing on confidential data I use mother fixed effects in my preferred specification. I find that dry laws improves children’s health at birth. Results are robust to many checks. A preliminary analysis of the mechanisms suggests two channels: alcohol consumption and violence against women.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth