Factors influencing the timing and type of state-level alcohol prohibitions prior to 1920

Eline Poelmans, John A. Dove, Jason E. Taylor, Ranjit S. Dighe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We employ a 70-year panel to examine the factors that influenced the timing and type—statutory prohibition, constitutional prohibition, or local option—of US state-level alcohol regulations in the seven decades prior to national Prohibition in 1920. We find that alcohol interests such as the state’s level of employment in breweries and distilleries, as well as the amounts of barley grown, generally impacted a state’s legal regime. Our results also suggest that states with larger concentrations of “dry” Christian denominations were more likely to prohibit, while those with more “wet” denominations were less likely to do so. Nearest neighbor effects likewise were important: states were generally more likely to pass statewide prohibitions when their neighboring states had such prohibitions in place.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Choice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Alcohol prohibition
  • Eighteenth Amendment
  • Lobbying
  • Political Economy

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