The Impact on Employment and Hours of Allowing Sunday Alcohol Sales in Georgia

Julie L. Hotchkiss and Yanling Qi

Working Paper 2015-10
November 2015

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This paper uses the differential timing across counties of the removal of restrictions on Sunday alcohol sales in the state of Georgia to determine whether the change had an impact on employment and hours in the beer, wine, and liquor retail sales industry. A triple-difference analysis finds significant increases in average weekly hours in the treated industry in counties removing sales restrictions versus those that did not relative to other industries during the period of time the law took effect. Since there is no significant employment increase, it appears that employers adjusted to remaining open one additional day per week by increasing hours of existing employees rather than hiring additional workers.

JEL classification: C21, L89, L38

Key words: difference-in-difference estimation, employment, hours, QCEW, ES202, industry analysis


The authors gratefully acknowledge the significant efforts in coding all outcomes for Sunday alcohol sales referendums by Jacqueline Byrd of the Georgia Food Industry Association. They also thank Monica Deza and participants of the Georgia State University HERU workshop for helpful comments. In addition, early excellent research assistance was provided by Fernando Rios-Avila. The views expressed here are the authors' and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System. Any remaining errors are the authors' responsibility.
Please address questions regarding content to Julie L. Hotchkiss, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-498-8198, julie.l.hotchkiss@atl.frb.org, or Yanling Qi, California State University-Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840, yanling.qi@csulb.edu.
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