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June 1, 2009 to Whom It May Concern: I Have

June 1, 2009 to Whom It May Concern: I Have

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Published by Bill Hannegan

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Published by: Bill Hannegan on Sep 28, 2009
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1June1, 2009To Whom It May Concern:I have beenasked to apply research resultsfrom Adams and Cotti(2007), “The Effect of Smoking Bans on Bars and Restaurants: An Analysis of Changes in Employment,” published inthe
 BerkleyJournal of Economic Analysis & Policy,
to a proposed smoking ban in both St. LouisCity, MO and St. Louis County, MO. The 2007 study by Adams and Cotti utilizes data from theBureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, along with severalcontrols for important determinants of hospitality employment (e.g. overall city employment,beer tax levels, etc.), to compare changes in bar and restaurant employment in U.S. countieswhere smoking was banned to changes in U.S. counties without bans. The sample employedcontains information on between 2,335 and 3,155 U.S. counties, depending on the specificationand industry examined, for the years 2001-2004.I understand that the public debate about the pros and cons of smoking bans is heated and thatadvocates on both sides of the issue are passionate about their viewpoints. For thisreason I feelthat it is important to make it clear that I am not an advocate for any group in this debate.Moreover, I have nopoliticalpreference in the outcomes of myresearch,and I am not beingcompensated for writing this letter or the analysis provided below. I am an academiceconomistinterested in truthfully modeling and understandingbehavior and externalities through objectiveand unbiased analysis. It is my hope that the results of this and other objective academic researchcan be used to better understand theimpactsof public policies(whatever they may be), so thatpolicy makerscan be well informed about the potential tradeoffs that any policy change mayhave ontheir respective jurisdictions.Published estimates in Adams and Cotti (2007), in conjunction withsmoking prevalenceestimates taken fromthe
2007 Missouri County Level Study of Adult Tobacco Use and Related Chronic Conditions and Practices
, suggest that a 100% smoking ban in St. Louis County wouldresult in an increase inemployment of approximately 1.2% in the bar industry (NAICS Code7224)and 2.4% in the full-service restaurant industry (NAICSCode7221). For St. Louis City,estimates suggest that a 100% smoking ban would decrease employment approximately 19.7% inthe bar industry (NAICS Code 7224) and 1.1% in the full-service restaurant industry (NAICSCode7221). The large difference in the estimated impacts between the city and the county islargely driven by the significant differences in smoking prevalence that exist between St. LouisCity (30.2%) and St. Louis County (18.6%), as estimated by the aforementioned
2007 MissouriCounty Level Study of Adult Tobacco Use and Related Chronic Conditions and Practices
. Itneeds to be notedthat therestaurant sectorestimatesin Adams and Cotti (2007) do not providesignificant statistical evidenceto infer that the impactof the smoking bans in the St. Louisareawould beanything but zero. Moreover, it should also be noted that thepoint estimatesfor St.

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