Alcohol outlet privatization: The British Columbia experiment

This international collaborative project led by the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation involves a detailed examination of the public health and safety impacts of the partial privatization of the BC liquor market since 2000. New data were collected regarding variations in drink prices as a consequence of partial privatization and variations in health and crime outcomes in different parts of the province over time, as they relate to changing outlet densities and patterns of sales. These were combined with data on the location of government and various types of private liquor stores, bars and restaurants, socio-demographic, economic, health and crime data specific to each local health area. Analyses focused on whether health and crime outcomes responded to changes in price and liquor outlet density.

Funding body: National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Progress to date: A number of papers have been either published or submitted for publication. These have focused on the relationship between privatization of the BC liquor market and outcomes such as increased alcohol-related mortality, morbidity and crime.