Tuesday, April 30, 2013

More on Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

1.  The American Economic Review had an article about the PLCB:

Volume 103, issue 2, 2013

Public Monopoly and Economic Efficiency: Evidence from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's Entry Decisions pp. 831-62 Downloads
By: Katja Seim and Joel Waldfogel
It shows an interesting model (well, economists may find it interesting), but the conclusion makes it clear that this paper has no relevance to the current debate on whether to privatize.  
In the conclusion, the authors discuss how their model assumes that government run stores are as efficient as non-government run stores.  I.e., they don't assume the case where government stores are less efficient.  That's the main argument for abolishing the PLCB: that these stores are inefficient and it likely would take fewer workers to sell the same amount of beer and wine if there was more competition.  So ... while the paper has interesting models, it unfortunately has zero bearing on the current debate.

2. As you may recall, the PA house passed a bill to privatize liquor sales.  Now the PA Senate is considering the bill.  

3.  A nice (new) oped on the issue.  Here's my old oped on the issue.

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