Unintended Consequences of Alcohol Prohibition Policies on Education: Evidence From India

This paper examines the impact of alcohol prohibition policies on child educational outcomes using the variation in location, timing, and intensity of alcohol prohibition laws across different states in India. I find that the imposition of complete alcohol bans resulted in an increase of 0.28 years of schooling, while partial bans that prohibited only cheaper varieties of alcohol resulted in a reduction of -0.25 years on average among individuals who were exposed to these bans during in utero, infancy, preschool or school-going age (0 - 18 years of age). I find that the alcohol laws have an effect only on individuals who were exposed to these changes during their school-going age, but have no impact on the older cohorts . Finally, I use data from national consumption expenditure surveys to show that these results are driven by shifts in household budgetary allocation. Using a triple-difference strategy (exploiting the fact that Muslim households are not affected by alcohol policy changes due to religious rules that proscribe alcohol consumption), I find that households exposed to partial prohibition laws reduce their share of expenditure on education goods by nearly 17 percent relative to the sample mean, while complete prohibition shows no effect on educational investments.

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I24; D12

 Record created 2018-08-16, last modified 2020-10-28

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