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  • 99% Binge Drinking & Sex in High School June 2010
    Jeffrey S. DeSimone

    This paper estimates the impact of binge drinking on sexual activity among a nationally representative set of high school students during the 1990s and 2000s. The main innovations are explicitly controlling for time-invariant preferences regarding sexual behavior and alcohol use, and eliminating non-drinkers from the comparison group. I find that binge drinking significantly increases participation in sex, promiscuity, and the failure to use birth control, albeit by amounts considerably smaller than implied by merely conditioning on exogenous factors. For all outcomes, impacts rise substantially with binge drinking frequency. Results are similar using alternative comparison groups defined by excluding those who do not exhibit other risky behaviors, and by gender and race/ethnicity, but vary by grade level and over time in different ways for engaging in sex than protective behavior. Effects are much larger for the small fraction of students that has not been taught about AIDS/HIV infection in school.

    ...DRINKING & SEX IN HIGH SCHOOL Jeffrey S. DeSimone WORKING PAPER 16132 NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES BINGE DRINKING & SEX IN HIGH SCHOOL Jeffrey S. DeSimone Working Paper 16132 https://www.nber.org/papers/w16132 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 June 2010 The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of...

    /papers/w16132

  • 99% Are Alcohol Excise Taxes Good For Us? Short and Long-Term Effects on Mortality Rates February 2005
    Philip J. Cook, Jan Ostermann, Frank A. Sloan

    Regression results from a 30-year panel of the state-level data indicate that changes in alcohol-excise taxes cause a reduction in drinking and lower all-cause mortality in the short run. But those results do not fully capture the long-term mortality effects of a permanent change in drinking levels. In particular, since moderate drinking has a protective effect against heart disease in middle age, it is possible that a reduction in per capita drinking will result in some people drinking "too little" and dying sooner than they otherwise would. To explore that possibility, we simulate the effect of a one percent reduction in drinking on all-cause mortality for the age group 35-69, using several alternative assumptions about how the reduction is distributed across this population. We find that the long-term mortality effect of a one percent reduction in drinking is essentially nil.

    ...drinking levels. In particular, since moderate drinking has a protective effect against heart disease in middle age, it is possible that a reduction in per capita drinking will result in some people drinking "too little" and dying sooner than they otherwise would. To explore that possibility, we simulate the effect of a one percent reduction in drinking on all-cause mortality for the age group 35...

    /papers/w11138

  • 99% Does Drinking Really Decrease in Bad Times? October 2001
    Christopher J. Ruhm, William E. Black

    This paper investigates the relationship between macroeconomic conditions, alcohol use, and drinking problems using individual-level data from the 1987-1999 years of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. We confirm the procyclical variation in overall drinking identified in previous research using aggregate sales data and show that this largely results from changes in consumption among existing drinkers, rather than movements into or out of drinking. Moreover, the decrease in alcohol use occurring during bad economic times is concentrated among heavy consumers, with light drinking actually increasing in these periods. We find no evidence that the decline in overall drinking masks a rise in alcohol use for persons becoming unemployed during contractions, suggesting that any stress-induced increases in consumption are more than offset by reductions resulting from changes in economic factors such as lower incomes.

    ...DRINKING REALLY DECREASE IN BAD TIMES? Christopher J. Ruhm William E. Black Working Paper 8511 https://www.nber.org/papers/w8511 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 October 2001 We thank Michael Grossman, Doug Staiger, and participants ofthe Triangle Applied Microeconomics Conference and NBER Summer Institute Health Economics workshop for helpful...

    /papers/w8511

  • 99% Drinking and Driving February 2020
    Frank A. Sloan

    Driving while intoxicated causes many traffic accidents and deaths. Two decisions are closely related, whether to engage in heavy drinking, and to drive, conditional on heavy drinking. This paper reviews the extensive literature on heavy drinking, addiction, and driving after heavy drinking. Relevant public policies involve a combination of deterrence, incapacitation, and treatment. While there is empirical support for the rational addiction model applied to heavy drinking, some attributes of drinker-drivers differ from others (e.g., impulsivity in domains other than alcohol consumption, hyperbolic discounting). Policies most effective in reducing drinking and driving are alcohol excise taxes, minimum drinking age and zero tolerance laws for underage persons, dram shop and social host liability, and criminal sanctions overall. Empirical studies have not determined which specific criminal sanctions are most effective. A major impediment to criminal sanctions as a deterrent is that the probability of being stopped/arrested when driving while intoxicated is extremely low, < 0.01 to 0.02 at most, further reduced by probability of conviction/sentencing following stop/arrest far below 1. Incarceration lengths tend to be too short to incapacitate people from drinking and driving. Alcohol treatment’s effectiveness is limited by low treatment rates among persons for whom treatment is appropriate.

    ...DRINKING AND DRIVING Frank A. Sloan Working Paper 26779 https://www.nber.org/papers/w26779 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 February 2020 Forthcoming: the Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics, edited by Klaus F. Zimmermann. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the...

    /papers/w26779

  • 99% Employment, Unemployment, and Problem Drinking May 1995
    John Mullahy, Jody L. Sindelar

    The misuse of alcoholic beverages ('problem drinking') has been demonstrated to result in enormous economic costs; most of these costs have been shown to be reduced productivity in the labor market. The purpose of this paper is to present sound structural estimates of the relationship between various measures of problem drinking and of employment and unemployment. The sample of approximately 15,000 observations is drawn from the 1988 Alcohol Survey of the National Health Interview Survey, the first dataset that enables nationally- representative estimates of alcohol abuse and dependence consistent with generally accepted medical criteria. The structural estimates of the effects of problem drinking on employment and labor market participation are obtained using methods proposed by Amemiya and by Heckman and MaCurdy. For our sample of males ages 25 to 59, we find that using the instrumental variable approach suggests that the negative impact of problem drinking on employment is even greater than that estimated using the OLS approach. Interestingly, the IV estimates on the samples of females change the sign from a positive impact of problem drinking on employment to a negative impact. Thus although the conclusions drawn from raw data comparisons and OLS regressions differ by gender, the IV estimates are very similar for men and women. For women, the unobserved heterogeneity masks the negative impact of problem drinking on employment when using OLS estimation methods.

    ...DRINKING John Mullahy Jody L. Sindelar Working Paper No. 5123 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 May 1995 This research has been supported in part by Grant 1R01AA08394 from the U.S. National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse at Yale University; Mullahy's research was also supported in part by a University Fellows grant from Resources for...

    /papers/w5123

  • 99% Alcohol Regulation and Crime March 2010
    Christopher Carpenter, Carlos Dobkin

    We provide a critical review of research in economics that has examined causal relationships between alcohol use and crime. We lay out several causal pathways through which alcohol regulation and alcohol consumption may affect crime, including: direct pharmacological effects on aggression, reaction time, and motor impairment; excuse motivations; venues and social interactions; and victimization risk. We focus our review on four main types of alcohol regulations: price/tax restrictions, age-based availability restrictions, spatial availability restrictions, and temporal availability restrictions. We conclude that there is strong evidence that tax- and age-based restrictions on alcohol availability reduce crime, and we discuss implications for policy and practice.

    ...age-based availability restrictions, spatial availability restrictions, and temporal availability restrictions. We conclude that there is strong evidence that tax- and age-based restrictions on alcohol availability reduce crime, and we discuss implications for policy and practice. Christopher Carpenter University of California, Irvine The Paul Merage School of Business 428 SB...

    /papers/w15828

  • 99% An Empirical Analysis of Alcohol Addiction: Results from the Monitoring the Future Panels July 1995
    Michael Grossman, Frank J. Chaloupka, Ismail Sirtalan

    This paper aims to refine and enrich the empirical literature dealing with the sensitivity of alcohol consumption and excessive consumption to differences in the prices of alcoholic beverages. The main refinement pertains to the incorporation of insights provided by a model of rational addictive behavior which emphasizes the interdependency of past, current, and future consumption of an addictive good. The data employed in this study consist of a U.S. panel whose members range in age from seventeen through twenty-seven. Since the prevalence of alcohol dependence and abuse is highest in this age range, addictive models of alcohol consumption may be more relevant to this sample than to a representative sample of the population of all ages. We find that alcohol consumption by young adults is addictive in the sense that increases in past or future consumption cause current consumption to rise. The positive and significant future consumption effect is consistent with the hypothesis of rational addiction and inconsistent with the hypothesis of myopic addiction. The long-run elasticity of consumption with respect to the price of beer is approximately 60 percent larger than the short-run price elasticity and twice as large as the elasticity that ignores addiction.

    ...in age from seventeen through twenty-seven. Since the prevalence of alcohol dependence and abuse is highest in this age range, addictive models of alcohol consumption may be more relevant to this sample than to a representative sample of the population of all ages. We find that alcohol consumption by young adults is addictive in the sense that increases in past or future consumption cause current...

    /papers/w5200

  • 99% Alcohol Policies and Highway Vehicle Fatalities July 1995
    Christopher J. Ruhm

    This study investigates the impact of beer taxes and a variety of alcohol-control policies on motor vehicle fatality rates, using fixed- effect models with data for the 48 contiguous states over the 1982 through 1988 time period. The econometric findings highlight the fragility of the parameter estimates to reasonable changes in model specifications. Special attention is paid to omitted variables biases resulting from failing to adequately control for grassroots efforts to reduce drunk driving, the enactment of other laws which simultaneously operate to reduce highway fatalities, and the economic conditions existing at the time of the legislation. In the preferred specifications, most of the regulations have little or no impact on traffic mortality. By contrast, higher beer taxes are associated with reductions in crash deaths and this result is relatively robust across specifications. These findings suggest the limited ability of further regulatory action to reduce drunk-driving but point to a potentially significant role for higher alcohol taxes.

    ...Drinking Act of 1984 included provisions for withholding a portion of federal highway funds from any states failing to raise their minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) to 21. By 1988, all 50 states had mandated a 21 MLDA and many had adopted other alcohol-control measures. During the 1980s, numerous states authorized police to administer roadside breath tests for alcohol, enacted administrative per...

    /papers/w5195

  • 99% Alcohol Regulation and Crime August 2010
    Christopher Carpenter, Carlos Dobkin
    in Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs, Philip Cook, Jens Ludwig, Justin McCrary, editors

    ...age-based alcohol restrictions, among others. 2. Potential changes include alcohol increasing the excise tax, raising the drinking age, adopting tougher drunk-driving laws, restricting liquor license availability, further restricting the hours/days/locations of alcohol sales, and more strictly enforcing existing laws against underage drinking. Alcohol Regulation and Crime 293 We pay particular...

    /chapters/c12092

  • 99% Does the Minimum Legal Drinking Age Save Lives? July 2007
    Jeffrey A. Miron, Elina Tetelbaum

    The minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) is widely believed to save lives by reducing traffic fatalities among underage drivers. Further, the Federal Uniform Drinking Age Act, which pressured all states to adopt an MLDA of 21, is regarded as having contributed enormously to this life saving effect. This paper challenges both claims. State-level panel data for the past 30 years show that any nationwide impact of the MLDA is driven by states that increased their MLDA prior to any inducement from the federal government. Even in early adopting states, the impact of the MLDA did not persist much past the year of adoption. The MLDA appears to have only a minor impact on teen drinking.

    ...DRINKING AGE SAVE LIVES? Jeffrey A. Miron Elina Tetelbaum WORKING PAPER 13257 NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES DOES THE MINIMUM LEGAL DRINKING AGE SAVE LIVES? Jeffrey A. Miron Elina Tetelbaum Working Paper 13257 https://www.nber.org/papers/w13257 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 July 2007 The views expressed herein are those...

    /papers/w13257

  • 99% Microsoft Word - NBER Alcohol Crime Prospectus 06 29 2009.doc
    cdobkin

    ...drinking age changes, adoption of tougher drunk driving laws, controlling liquor license availability, restricting the hours/days/locations of alcohol sales, tougher enforcement of alcohol control laws, etc.). In contrast, if the association between alcohol use and crime is due to unobserved individual factors (such as risk preferences) associated with both drinking and crime or unobserved local...

    /conferences/2009/SI2009/CRI/Carpenter_Dobkin.pdf

  • 99% The Impact of Alcohol on Mental Health, Physical Fitness, and Job Performance June 2017
    Marigee Bacolod, Jesse M. Cunha, Yu-Chu Shen

    We study the impact of legal access to alcohol on a range of behavioral and physical outcomes of U.S. Army soldiers in a regression discontinuity design. The wealth of novel data collected by the military on cognitive ability, psychological health, and family history allows us to explore how impacts vary with risk factors for alcohol consumption. Overall, we observe a large and significant increase in drinking after the 21st birthday, but the increases are largest amongst those who were depressed, had a family history of mental health problems, had better coping ability, and had higher cognitive ability. Despite the large increase in consumption, we do not find any meaningful impacts of legal access to alcohol - overall or in any sub-group - on any of the short-term outcomes we observe, including suicidal tendencies, depression, tobacco use, physical fitness, psychological health, deployability, smoking, and job-related infractions. Acknowledging the limitations for extrapolation out of sample, we discuss the policy implications of our results.

    ...in drinking after the 21st birthday, but the increases are largest amongst those who were depressed, had a family history of mental health problems, had better coping ability, and had higher cognitive ability. Despite the large increase in consumption, we do not find any meaningful impacts of legal access to alcohol - overall or in any sub-group - on any of the shortterm outcomes we observe...

    /papers/w23542

  • 99% Are There Differential Effects of Price and Policy on College Students' Drinking Intensity? January 2002
    Jenny Williams, Frank J. Chaloupka, Henry Wechsler

    This paper investigates whether college students' response to alcohol price and policies differ according to their drinking intensity. Individual level data on drinking behavior, price paid per drink, and college alcohol policies come from the student and administrator components of the 1997 and 1999 waves of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) College Alcohol Study (CAS). Students drinking behavior is classified on the basis of the number of drinks they typically consume on a drinking occasion, and the number of times they have been drunk during the 30 days prior to survey. A generalized ordered logit model is used to determine whether key variables impact differentially the odds of drinking and the odds of heavy drinking. We find that students who faced a higher money price for alcohol are less likely to make the transition from abstainer to moderate drinker and moderate drinker to heavy drinker, and this effect is equal across thresholds. Campus bans on the use of alcohol are a greater deterrent to moving from abstainer to moderate drinker than moderate drinker to heavy drinker.

    ...DRINKING INTENSITY? Jenny Williams Frank J. Chaloupka Henry Wechsler Working Paper 8702 https://www.nber.org/papers/w8702 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 January 2002 We gratefully acknowledge research support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Williams and Chaloupka through the ImpacTeen project and to Wechsler through the College...

    /papers/w8702

  • 99% Alcohol Abuse and Suicide Attempts Among Youth - Correlation or Causation? April 2003
    Pinka Chatterji, Dhaval Dave, Robert Kaestner, Sara Markowitz

    This study uses the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS) to explore the causal relationship between alcohol abuse (binge drinking and clinically defined alcohol use disorders) and suicide attempts among youth. We use an empirical approach that allows one to assess the existence and strength of a causal relationship without relying on identifying assumptions. Our results suggest that a causal relationship between binge drinking and suicide attempts is very unlikely. The findings, however, support a causal relationship between clinically defined alcohol use disorders and suicide attempts among girls.

    ...(binge drinking and clinically defined alcohol use disorders) and suicide attempts among youth. We use an empirical approach that allows one to assess the existence and strength of a causal relationship without relying on identifying assumptions. Our results suggest that a causal relationship between binge drinking and suicide attempts is very unlikely. The findings, however, support a causal...

    /papers/w9638

  • 98% The Effects of Graduation Requirements on Risky Health Behaviors of High School Students September 2017
    Zhuang Hao, Benjamin W. Cowan

    Previous studies have shown that years of formal schooling attained affects health behaviors, but little is known about how the stringency of academic programs affects such behaviors, especially among youth. Using national survey data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS), we study the effects of mathematics and science high-school graduation requirements (HSGR) on high school students’ risky health behaviors--specifically on drinking, smoking, and marijuana use. We find that an increase in mathematics and science HSGR has significant negative impacts on alcohol consumption among high-school students, especially males and non-white students. The effects of math and science HSGR on smoking and marijuana use are also negative but generally less precisely estimated. Our results suggest that curriculum design may have potential as a policy tool to curb youth drinking.

    ...drinking. Zhuang Hao School of Economic Sciences Washington State University Pullman, WA 99164-6210 zhuang.hao@wsu.edu Benjamin W. Cowan School of Economic Sciences Washington State University 103E Hulbert Hall Pullman, WA 99164 and NBER ben.cowan@wsu.edu I. INTRODUCTION Since the seminal work of Grossman (1972), the relationship between schooling and health has been well established. Years of...

    /papers/w23803

  • 98% Rational Self-Medication December 2018
    Michael E. Darden, Nicholas W. Papageorge

    We develop a theory of rational self-medication. The idea is that forward-looking individuals, lacking access to better treatment options, attempt to manage the symptoms of mental and physical pain outside of formal medical care. They use substances that relieve symptoms in the short run but that may be harmful in the long run. For example, heavy drinking could alleviate current symptoms of depression but could also exacerbate future depression or lead to alcoholism. Rational self-medication suggests that, when presented with a safer, more effective treatment, individuals will substitute towards it. To investigate, we use forty years of longitudinal data from the Framingham Heart Study and leverage the exogenous introduction of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). We demonstrate an economically meaningful reduction in heavy alcohol consumption for men when SSRIs became available. Additionally, we show that addiction to alcohol inhibits substitution. Our results suggest a role for rational self-medication in understanding the origin of substance abuse. Furthermore, our work suggests that punitive policies targeting substance abuse may backfire, leading to substitution towards even more harmful substances to self-medicate. In contrast, policies promoting medical innovation that provide safer treatment options could obviate the need to self-medicate with dangerous or addictive substances.

    ...drinking could alleviate current symptoms of depression but could also exacerbate future depression or lead to alcoholism. Rational self-medication suggests that, when presented with a safer, more effective treatment, individuals will substitute towards it. To investigate, we use forty years of longitudinal data from the Framingham Heart Study and leverage the exogenous introduction of selective...

    /papers/w25371

  • 98% Fraternity Membership and Drinking Behavior July 2007
    Jeffrey S. DeSimone

    This paper estimates the impact of fraternity and sorority membership on a wide array of drinking outcomes among respondents to four Harvard College Alcohol Study surveys from 1993-2001. Identification is achieved by including proxies for specific types of unobserved heterogeneity expected to influence the relationship. These include high school and parental drinking behaviors to account for time-invariant omitted factors, and assessed importance of drinking-related activities and reasons for drinking to control for changes in preferences since starting college. Self-selection is quantitatively important. But even controlling for variables plausibly affected by fraternity membership, such as current alcohol use categorization (from abstainer to heavy drinker) and time spent socializing, fraternity membership has a large impact on drinking intensity, frequency and recency, as well as various negative drinking consequences that potentially carry negative externalities.

    ...DRINKING BEHAVIOR Jeffrey S. DeSimone WORKING PAPER 13262 NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES FRATERNITY MEMBERSHIP AND DRINKING BEHAVIOR Jeffrey S. DeSimone Working Paper 13262 https://www.nber.org/papers/w13262 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 July 2007 I thank participants in several informal conversations at the 2007 AEA meetings...

    /papers/w13262

  • 98% Drinking and Academic Performance in High School January 2005
    Jeff DeSimone, Amy M. Wolaver

    We investigate the extent to which negative alcohol use coefficients in GPA regressions reflect unobserved heterogeneity rather than direct effects of drinking, using 2001 and 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data on high school students. Results illustrate that omitted factors are quite important. Drinking coefficient magnitudes fall substantially in regressions that control for risk and time preference, mental health, self-esteem, and consumption of other substances. Moreover, the impact of binge drinking is negligible for students who are less risk averse, heavily discount the future, or use other drugs. However, effects that remain significant after accounting for unobserved heterogeneity and are relatively large for risk averse, future oriented and drug free students suggest that binge drinking might slightly worsen academic performance. Consistent with this, the relationship between grades and drinking without binging is small and insignificant on the extensive margin and positive on the intensive margin.

    ...DRINKING AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN HIGH SCHOOL Jeff DeSimone Amy Wolaver Working Paper 11035 https://www.nber.org/papers/w11035 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 January 2005 We thank participants in the Delinquency and Schooling session at the 2004 APPAM Fall Research Conference, particularly Richard Fey, Brian Jacob, Dean Lillard, Jens Ludwig...

    /papers/w11035

  • 98% Risk Tolerance and Alcohol Demand Among Adults and Older Adults October 2007
    Dhaval Dave, Henry Saffer

    This study has two primary goals. These are the examination of the effect of risk tolerance on individuals' demand for alcohol and second, the examination of the demand for alcohol by older adults over the age of 55. The data sets employed are multiple waves from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). While risk tolerance can impact the level of alcohol consumption, it may also affect the sensitivity of demand to prices. There are parallels between the economist's and the psychologist's concept of risk tolerance. Research on attitudes towards risk by psychologists is part of a larger theoretical and empirical literature on personality traits. Psychologists have found risk tolerance to be an important determinant of alcohol consumption. The empirical results indicate that risk aversion has a significant negative effect on alcohol consumption, with the prevalence and consumption among risk-tolerant individuals being six to eight percent higher. Furthermore, the tax elasticity is similar across both risk-averse and risk-tolerant individuals. This suggests that tax policies may be effective in deterring alcohol consumption even among those who have a higher propensity for alcohol use. The significance of research on alcohol demand by individuals ages 55 and older is highlighted by the increased potential for alcohol-related adverse consequences among this demographic group. Comparing younger adults (ages 21-54) with older adults, responses to taxes and prices are higher among the older sub-population. The tax elasticity is estimated at -0.05 for younger adults, compared to -0.20 for older adults.

    ...the age of 55. The data sets employed are multiple waves from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). While risk tolerance can impact the level of alcohol consumption, it may also affect the sensitivity of demand to prices. There are parallels between the economist's and the psychologist's concept of risk tolerance. Research on attitudes towards...

    /papers/w13482

  • 98% The Minimum Legal Drinking Age and Crime Victimization July 2019
    Aaron Chalfin, Benjamin Hansen, Rachel Ryley

    For every crime there is a victim. However nearly all studies in the economics of crime have focused the causal determinants of criminality. We present novel evidence on the causal determinants of victimization, focusing on legal access to alcohol. The social costs of alcohol use and abuse are sizable and well-documented. We find criminal victimization for both violent and property crimes increases noticeably at age 21. Effects are not present at other birthdays and do not appear to be driven by a birth-day "celebration effect." The effects are particularly large for sexual assaults, especially those that occur in public locations. Our results suggest prior research which has focused on criminality has understated the true social costs associated with increased access to alcohol.

    ...DRINKING AGE AND CRIME VICTIMIZATION Aaron Chalfin Benjamin Hansen Rachel Ryley Working Paper 26051 https://www.nber.org/papers/w26051 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 July 2019 We thank Amanda Agan, Lars Lefgren, Jason Lindo, Vikram Maheshri and Emily Weisburst for helpful comments which greatly improved earlier versions of this manuscript. We...

    /papers/w26051

  • 98% Alcohol and Marijuana Use Among College Students: Economic Complements or Substitutes? July 2001
    Jenny Williams, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Frank J. Chaloupka, Henry Wechsler

    College campuses have been cracking down on underage and binge drinking in light of recent highly publicized student deaths. Although there is evidence showing that stricter college alcohol policies have been effective at discouraging both drinking in general and frequent binge drinking on college campuses, recent evidence from the Harvard School Of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS) shows that marijuana use among college students rose 22 percent between 1993 and 1999. Are current policies aimed at reducing alcohol consumption inadvertently encouraging marijuana use? This paper begins to address this question by investigating the relationship between the demands for alcohol and marijuana for college students using data from the 1993, 1997 and 1999 CAS. We find that alcohol and marijuana are economic complements and that policies that increase the full price of alcohol decrease participation in marijuana use.

    ...binge drinking in light of recent highly publicized student deaths. Although there is evidence showing that stricter college alcohol policies have been effective at discouraging both drinking in general and frequent binge drinking on college campuses, recent evidence from the Harvard School Of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS) shows that marijuana use among college students rose 22 percent...

    /papers/w8401

  • 98% Sin Taxes: Do Heterogeneous Responses Undercut Their Value? July 2009
    Padmaja Ayyagari, Partha Deb, Jason Fletcher, William T. Gallo, Jody L. Sindelar

    This paper estimates the price elasticity of demand for alcohol using Health and Retirement Survey data. To account for unobserved heterogeneity in price responsiveness, we use finite mixture models. We recover two latent groups, one is significantly responsive to price but the other is unresponsive. Differences between these two groups can be explained in part by the behavioral factors of risk aversion, financial planning horizon, forward looking and locus of control. These results have policy implications. Only a subgroup responds significantly to price. Importantly, the unresponsive group drinks more heavily, suggesting that a higher price could fail to curb drinking by those most likely to cause negative externalities. In contrast, those least likely to impose costs on others are more responsive, thus suffering greater deadweight loss yet with less prevention of negative externalities.

    ...Aging to Yale University. We gratefully acknowledge the alcohol price data that Michael French assembled and shared with us. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research. © 2009 by Padmaja Ayyagari, Partha Deb, Jason Fletcher, William T. Gallo, and Jody L. Sindelar. All rights reserved. Short sections...

    /papers/w15124

  • 98% Individual Behaviors and Substance Use: The Role of Price December 2004
    Michael Grossman

    I discuss economic approaches to the demand for harmfully addictive substances and estimate time-series demand functions for the period from 1975 through 2003. My estimates suggest that changes in price can explain a good deal of the observed changes in cigarette smoking, binge alcohol drinking, and marijuana use by high school seniors. For example, the 70 percent increase in the real price of cigarettes since 1997 due to the Medicaid Master Settlement Agreement explains almost all of the 12 percentage point reduction in the cigarette smoking participation rate since that year. The 7 percent increase in the real price of beer between 1990 and 1992 due to the Federal excise tax hike on that beverage in 1991 accounts for almost 90 percent of the 4 percentage point decline in binge drinking in the period at issue. The wide swings in the real price of marijuana explain 70 percent of the reduction in particpation from 1975 to 1992, 60 percent of the subsequent growth to 1997, and almost 60 percent of the decline since that year. I conclude with implications for tax policy and for the lively and contentious debate concerning the legalization of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.

    ...drinking in the period at issue. The wide swings in the real price of marijuana explain 70 percent of the reduction in particpation from 1975 to 1992, 60 percent of the subsequent growth to 1997, and almost 60 percent of the decline since that year. I conclude with implications for tax policy and for the lively and contentious debate concerning the legalization of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.

    /papers/w10948

  • 98% Identifying Sibling Influence on Teenage Substance Use October 2010
    Joseph G. Altonji, Sarah Cattan, Iain Ware

    A number of studies have found substantial correlations in risky behavior between siblings, raising the possibility that adolescents may directly influence the actions of their brothers or sisters. We assess the extent to which correlations in substance use and selling drugs are due to causal effects. Our identification strategy relies on panel data, the fact that the future does not cause the past, and the assumption that the direction of influence is from older siblings to younger siblings. Under this assumption along with other restrictions on dynamics, one can identify the causal effect from a regression of the behavior of the younger sibling on the past behavior and the future behavior of the older sibling. We also estimate a joint dynamic model of the behavior of older and younger siblings that allows for family specific effects, individual specific heterogeneity, and state dependence. We use the model to simulate the dynamic response of substance use to the behavior of the older sibling. Our results suggest that smoking, drinking, and marijuana use are affected by the example of older siblings, but most of the link between siblings arises from common influences.

    ...drinking, and marijuana use are affected by the example of older siblings, but most of the link between siblings arises from common influences. Joseph G. Altonji Department of Economics Yale University Box 208264 New Haven, CT 06520-8269 and NBER joseph.altonji@yale.edu Sarah Cattan Department of Economics University of Chicago 1126 East 59th Street Chicago, IL 60637 scattan@uchicago.edu...

    /papers/w16508

  • 98% Alcohol Control Policies and Motor Vehicle Fatalities September 1991
    Frank J. Chaloupka, Henry Saffer, Michael Grossman

    The purpose of this study is to estimate the effects of drunk driving deterrents and other alcohol related policies on drunk driving. The data set employed is an annual time-series of state cross-sections for the 48 contiguous states of the U.S. from 1982 through 1988. Total and alterative alcohol involved motor vehicle fatality rates, for the general population and for 18 to 20 year olds, are used as measures of drunk driving. The results indicate that the moat effective policies are increased beer taxes and mandatory administrative license actions. Maintaining the beer tax at its real 1951 value would have reduced fatalities by 11.5 percent annually, on average, during the sample period. A mandatory administrative license sanction of one year would have reduced fatalities by 9 percent. The next most effective policies are a 21 year old legal drinking age, preliminary breath test and dram shop laws and relatively large mandatory fines. These policies each reduce total fatalities by about 5 to 6 percent. No plea bargaining provisions and mandatory license sanctions upon conviction are also found to have some deterrent effect. Other drunk driving laws tested include mandatory jail sentences and community service options, illegal per se laws, and open container laws. None of these were found to have a deterrent effect on drunk driving.

    ...drinking age, preliminary breath test and dram shop laws and relatively large mandatory fines. These policies each reduce total fatalities by about 5 to 6 percent. No plea bargaining provisions and mandatory license sanctions upon conviction are also found to have some deterrent effect. Other drunk driving laws tested include mandatory jail sentences and community service options, illegal per se...

    /papers/w3831

  • 98% Grazing, Goods and Girth: Determinants and Effects August 2009
    Daniel S. Hamermesh

    Using the 2006-07 American Time Use Survey and its Eating and Health Module, I show that over half of adult Americans report grazing (secondary eating/drinking) on a typical day, with grazing time almost equaling primary eating/drinking time. An economic model predicts that higher wage rates (price of time) will lead to substitution of grazing for primary eating/drinking, especially by raising the number of grazing incidents relative to meals. This prediction is confirmed in these data. Eating meals more frequently is associated with lower BMI and better self-reported health, as is grazing more frequently. Food purchases are positively related to time spent eating--substitution of goods for time is difficult--but are lower when eating time is spread over more meals.

    .../drinking) on a typical day, with grazing time almost equaling primary eating/drinking time. An economic model predicts that higher wage rates (price of time) will lead to substitution of grazing for primary eating/drinking, especially by raising the number of grazing incidents relative to meals. This prediction is confirmed in these data. Eating meals more frequently is associated with lower BMI...

    /papers/w15277

  • 97% Economic Conditions and Alcohol Problems November 1994
    Christopher Ruhm

    This study investigates the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and two alcohol-related outcomes -- liquor consumption and highway vehicle fatalities. Fixed-effect models are estimated for the 48 contiguous states over the 1975-1988 time period and within-state variations are the focus of analysis. Alcohol consumption and traffic deaths vary procyclically, with a major portion of the effect of economic downturns attributed to reductions in incomes. The intake of hard liquor is the most sensitive to the state of the macroeconomy. There is no evidence, however, that fluctuations in economic conditions have a disproportionate impact on the drunk-driving of young adults.

    ...drinking and health. Increased alcohol consumption need not adversely affect health, if concentrated among light drinkers. Most available evidence (e.g. Coate & Grossman, 1988), however, indicates that the demand of heavy drinkers is at least as responsive as that of recreational users to changes in prices and incomes.3 This suggests that drinking problems are likely to be closely related to...

    /papers/w4914

  • 97% The Impact of Alcohol Consumption and Marijuana Use on High School Graduation October 1993
    Tetsuji Yamada, Michael Kendix, Tadashi Yamada

    In this study we use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). We estimate the relationship between high school graduation, and alcohol and marijuana use among the sample of high school students. We also estimate these students' demand determinants for each of these substances. Our results show that there are significant adverse effects of alcohol and marijuana use on high school graduation. In addition, we find that beer taxes, minimum drinking age laws and marijuana decriminalization have a significant impact on the demand for these substances. Our findings have important policy implications. We find that a ten percent increase in beer tax, reduces alcohol consumption among high school students, which in turn raises the probability of high school graduation by about 3.7 percent. Further, a ten percent increase in liquor prices, raises the probability of high school graduation by 6.6 to 8.2 percent. Raising the minimum drinking age for liquor also reduces liquor and wine consumption, and consequently, improves the probability of high school graduation.

    ...Drinking Age Act (Public Law 98-363), which had a significant influence on young persons' consumption of alcoholic beverages. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-570), allowed a number of Federal agencies to address alcohol and drug abuse problems. The role of government at the Federal, State and Local level was broadened by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-690). Also, a...

    /papers/w4497

  • 97% Substance Use and Suicidal Behaviors Among Young Adults February 2002
    Sara Markowitz, Pinka Chatterji, Robert Kaestner, Dhaval Dave

    The purpose of this paper is to examine the causal impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on suicidal behaviors among college students. Every year, more American youth die from suicide than from all leading natural causes of death combined. Substance use has been identified as a leading risk factor in suicidal behaviors. We use instrumental variables to estimate a structural model of suicidal thoughts and attempts. A reduced form equation is also estimated which directly relates the determinants of alcohol and drug use to suicidal behaviors. Data come from the Core Institute's Alcohol and Drug Surveys of College Students. The results are consistent with a causal mechanism from alcohol and illicit drug consumption to suicide thoughts and attempts.

    ...-age youth engage in suicide ideation, ranging from nonspecific thoughts about suicide to suicide planning with intent to die (Brent 1989). Suicide ideation is a leading risk factor in completed suicide; moreover, clinicians believe that suicide ideation is psychologically harmful in and of itself. The current prevalence of suicide among youth reflects long-term growth in this outcome. Between...

    /papers/w8810

  • 97% The Effects of E-Cigarette Minimum Legal Sale Age Laws on Youth Substance Use April 2017
    Dhaval Dave, Bo Feng, Michael F. Pesko

    We use difference-in-differences models and individual-level data from the national and state Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) from 2005 to 2015 to examine the effects of e-cigarette Minimum Legal Sale Age (MLSA) laws on youth cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and marijuana use. Our results suggest that these laws increased youth smoking participation by about one percentage point, and approximately half of the increased smoking participation could be attributed to smoking initiation. We find little evidence of higher cigarette smoking persisting beyond the point at which youth age out of the laws. Our results also show little effect of the laws on youth drinking, binge drinking, and marijuana use. Taken together, our findings suggest a possible unintended effect of e-cigarette MLSA laws—rising cigarette use in the short term while youth are restricted from purchasing e-cigarettes.

    ...SALE AGE LAWS ON YOUTH SUBSTANCE USE Dhaval Dave Bo Feng Michael F. Pesko Working Paper 23313 https://www.nber.org/papers/w23313 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 April 2017 We gratefully appreciate comments from Abigail Friedman, Rahi Abouk, and others at the 2017 International Society for Health Economists (iHEA) conference. We also gratefully...

    /papers/w23313

  • 97% The Demand for Cocaine by Young Adults: A Rational Addiction Approach August 1996
    Michael Grossman, Frank J. Chaloupka, Charles C. Brown

    This paper applies the rational addiction model, which emphasizes the interdependency of past, current, and future consumption of an addictive good, to the demand for cocaine by young adults in the Monitoring the Future Panel. The price of cocaine is added to this survey from the System to Retrieve Information from Drug Evidence (STRIDE) maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration of the U.S. Department of Justice. Results suggest that annual participation and frequency of use given participation are negatively related to the price of cocaine. In addition current participation is positively related to past and future participation, and current frequency of use given participation is positively related to past and future frequency of use. The long-run price elasticity of total consumption (participation multiplied by frequency given participation) of -1.18 is substantial. A permanent 10 percent reduction in price due, for example, to the legalization of cocaine would cause the number of cocaine users to grow by slightly more than 8 percent and would increase the frequency of use among users by a little more than 3 percent. Surely, both proponents and opponents of drug legalization should take account of this increase in consumption in debating their respective positions.

    ...age from seventeen through twenty-nine. Since the prevalence of cocaine consumption is highest in this age range, and few people initiate use after age twenty-nine (National Institute on Drug Abuse 1991), information on the responsiveness to price in this segment of the population is crucial in evaluating the impacts of 2 alternative price policies in all segments of the population. The price of...

    /papers/w5713

  • 97% Introduction to "Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis" January 2001
    Jonathan Gruber
    in Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, Jonathan Gruber, editor

    ...drinking, having sex, and taking drugs are generally first encountered before age nineteen, yet they have important ramifications for the remainder of these youths’ lives. For example, roughly one-third of high schoolers have smoked in the past thirty days, and over three-quarters of smokers start before they turn nineteen (Gruber and Zinman, chap. 2 in this volume). Over half of individuals...

    /chapters/c10685

  • 97% Job Loss: Eat, drink and try to be merry? July 2009
    Partha Deb, William T. Gallo, Padmaja Ayyagari, Jason M. Fletcher, Jody L. Sindelar

    This paper examines the impact of job loss from business closings on body mass index (BMI) and alcohol consumption. We improve upon extant literature by using: exogenously determined business closings, a sophisticated estimation approach (finite mixture models) to deal with complex heterogeneity, and national, longitudinal data (Health and Retirement Study). For both alcohol consumption and BMI, we find evidence that individuals who are more likely to respond to job loss by increasing unhealthy behaviors are already in the problematic range for these behaviors before losing their jobs. Thus health effects of job loss could be concentrated among "at risk" individuals.

    ...DRINK AND TRY TO BE MERRY? Partha Deb William T. Gallo Padmaja Ayyagari Jason M. Fletcher Jody L. Sindelar WORKING PAPER 15122 NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES JOB LOSS: EAT, DRINK AND TRY TO BE MERRY? Partha Deb William T. Gallo Padmaja Ayyagari Jason M. Fletcher Jody L. Sindelar Working Paper 15122 https://www.nber.org/papers/w15122 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH...

    /papers/w15122

  • 97% What Happens When We Randomly Assign Children to Families? November 2004
    Bruce Sacerdote

    I use a new data set of Korean-American adoptees who, as infants, were randomly assigned to families in the U.S. I examine the treatment effects from being assigned to a high income family, a high education family or a family with four or more children. I calculate the transmission of income, education and health characteristics from adoptive parents to adoptees. I then compare these coefficients of transmission to the analogous coefficients for biological children in the same families, and to children raised by their biological parents in other data sets. Having a college educated mother increases an adoptee's probability of graduating from college by 7 percentage points, but raises a biological child's probability of graduating from college by 26 percentage points. In contrast, transmission of drinking and smoking behavior from parents to children is as strong for adoptees as for non-adoptees. For height, obesity, and income, transmission coefficients are significantly higher for non-adoptees than for adoptees. In this sample, sibling gender composition does not appear to affect adoptee outcomes nor does the mix of adoptee siblings versus biological siblings.

    ...of drinking and smoking behavior from parents to children is as strong for adoptees as for non-adoptees. For height, obesity, and income, transmission coefficients are significantly higher for non-adoptees than for adoptees. In this sample, sibling gender composition does not appear to affect adoptee outcomes nor does the mix of adoptee siblings versus biological siblings. Bruce Sacerdote 6106...

    /papers/w10894

  • 96% Preventing Drug Use August 2010
    Beau Kilmer, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula
    in Targeting Investments in Children: Fighting Poverty When Resources are Limited, Phillip B. Levine and David J. Zimmerman, editors

    ...aged twelve and older, including residents of noninstitutional group quarters such as college dormitories, group homes, shelters, rooming houses, and civilians dwelling on military installations. The federal poverty measure used here was reported in the public use data. According to SAMHSA’s codebook, the measure is constructed using information about the family size, number of children, and...

    /chapters/c11727

  • 96% The Long-Run Effects of a Public Policy on Alcohol Tastes and Mortality July 2014
    Lorenz Kueng, Evgeny Yakovlev

    We study the long-run effects of Russia's anti-alcohol campaign, which dramatically altered the relative supply of hard and light alcohol in the late 1980s. We find that this policy shifted young men's long-run preferences from hard to light alcohol decades later and we estimate the age at which consumers form their tastes. We show that the large beer market expansion in the late 1990s had similar effects on young consumers' tastes, while older consumers' tastes remained largely unchanged. We then link these long-run changes in alcohol consumption patterns to changes in male mortality. The shift from hard to light alcohol reduced incidences of binge drinking substantially, leading to fewer alcohol- related deaths. We conclude that the resulting large cohort differences in current alcohol consumption shares explain a significant part of the recent decrease in male mortality. Simulations suggest that mortality will continue to decrease by another 23% over the next twenty years due to persistent changes in consumer tastes. Program impact evaluations that focus only on contemporaneous effects can therefore severely underestimate the total effect of such public policies that change preferences for goods.

    ...drinks vodka in Russia?" and "How Persistent Are Consumption Habits? Micro-Evidence from Russia's Alcohol Market." The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research. NBER working papers are circulated for discussion and comment purposes. They have not been peer-reviewed or been subject to the review by the NBER...

    /papers/w20298

  • 96% The Church vs the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition? August 2006
    Jonathan Gruber, Daniel M. Hungerman

    Recently economists have begun to consider the causes and consequences of religious participation. An unanswered question in this literature is the effect upon individuals of changes in the opportunity cost of religious participation. In this paper we identify a policy-driven change in the opportunity cost of religious participation based on state laws that prohibit retail activity on Sunday, known as %u201Cblue laws.%u201D Many states have repealed these laws in recent years, raising the opportunity cost of religious participation. We construct a model which predicts, under fairly general conditions, that allowing retail activity on Sundays will lower attendance levels but may increase or decrease religious donations. We then use a variety of datasets to show that when a state repeals its blue laws religious attendance falls, and that church donations and spending fall as well. These results do not seem to be driven by declines in religiosity prior to the law change, nor do we see comparable declines in membership or giving to nonreligious organizations after a state repeals its laws. We then assess the effects of changes in these laws on drinking and drug use behavior in the NLSY. We find that repealing blue laws leads to an increase in drinking and drug use, and that this increase is found only among the initially religious individuals who were affected by the blue laws. The effect is economically significant; for example, the gap in heavy drinking between religious and non religious individuals falls by about half after the laws are repealed.

    ...drinking and drug use behavior in the NLSY. We find that repealing blue laws leads to an increase in drinking and drug use, and that this increase is found only among the initially religious individuals who were affected by the blue laws. The effect is economically significant; for example, the gap in heavy drinking between religious and non religious individuals falls by about half after the laws...

    /papers/w12410

  • 96% Estimation of a Dynamic Model of Weight April 2010
    Shu Wen Ng, Edward C. Norton, David K. Guilkey, Barry M. Popkin

    The ongoing debate about the economic causes of obesity has focused on the changing relative prices of diet and exercise. This paper uses a model that explicitly includes time and spatially varying community-level urbanicity and price measures as instruments to obtain statistically correct measures for the endogenous effects of diet, physical activity, drinking, and smoking on weight. We apply a dynamic panel system GMM estimation model to longitudinal (1991-2006) data from China to model weight and find that among adult men in China, about 6.1% of weight gain was due to declines in physical activity and 2.9-3.8% was due to dietary changes over this period. In the long run, physical activity can account for around 6.9% of weight gain, while diet can account for 3.2-4.2% of weight gain.

    ...drinking, and smoking on weight. We apply a dynamic panel system GMM estimation model to longitudinal (1991–2006) data from China to model weight and find that among adult men in China, about 6.1% of weight gain was due to declines in physical activity and 2.9-3.8% was due to dietary changes over this period. In the long run, physical activity can account for around 6.9% of weight gain, while...

    /papers/w15864

  • 96% Teens and Traffic Safety January 2001
    Thomas S. Dee, William N. Evans
    in Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, Jonathan Gruber, editor

    ...age group. Motor-vehicle fatalities are far and away the leading cause of death among young adults. The large fraction of deaths among young adults attributed to car travel is not entirely unexpected. Driving is an inherently risky activity, and the young rarely die of other nonviolent causes.1 Furthermore, teens are increasingly dependent on automobiles. In 1995, the average teen aged sixteen to...

    /chapters/c10688

  • 95% Peer Effects and Alcohol Use Among College Students July 2003
    Michael Kremer, Dan M. Levy

    This paper examines a natural experiment in which students at a large state university were randomly assigned roommates through a lottery system. We find that on average, males assigned to roommates who reported drinking in the year prior to entering college had one quarter-point lower GPA than those assigned to non-drinking roommates. The 10th percentile of their college GPA is half a point lower than among males assigned non-drinking roommates. For males who themselves drank frequently prior to college, assignment to a roommate who drank frequently prior to college reduces GPA by two-thirds of a point. Since students who drink frequently are particularly influenced by frequent-drinking roommates, substance-free housing programs could potentially lower average GPA by segregating drinkers. The effect of initial assignment to a drinking roommate persists and possibly even grows over time. In contrast, students' college GPA is not influenced by roommates' high school grades, admission test scores, or family background. Females' GPAs are not affected by roommates' drinking prior to college. Overall, these findings are more consistent with models in which peers change preferences than models in which they change endowments.

    ...who drink frequently are particularly influenced by frequent-drinking roommates, substance-free housing programs could potentially lower average GPA by segregating drinkers. The e ffect of initial assignment to a drinking roommate persists and possibly even grows over time. In cont rast, students' college GPA is not influenced by roommates' high school grades, admission test sc ores, or family...

    /papers/w9876

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