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An Economic Theory of College Alcohol and Drug Policies

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  • Bryan C. McCannon

Abstract

Colleges employ a wide variety of policies to regulate alcohol and drug use. A model where a regulator monitors the activity of a heterogeneous population of individuals is presented. Engaging in the activity is desired by each, but the aggregate activity exhibits a negative externality. The regulator is unable to observe the quantity or propensity for the activity of any individual, but can establish a maximum acceptable amount of activity and imperfectly monitor compliance with the standard. In this environment the choices made, the need for regulation, and imperfect monitoring are investigated to show that effective policy depends on the goal of the regulator.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by New York State Economics Association (NYSEA) in its journal New York Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 38 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 18-36

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Handle: RePEc:nye:nyervw:v:38:y:2007:i:1:p:18-36

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  1. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Kaplow, Louis, 1992. "Optimal Sanctions When Individuals Are Imperfectly Informed about the Probability of Apprehension," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 365-70, June.
  2. Shavell, Steven, 1991. "Specific versus General Enforcement of Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1088-1108, October.
  3. Polinsky, A Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1991. "A Note on Optimal Fines When Wealth Varies among Individuals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 618-21, June.
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  6. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. " The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 267-95, September.
  7. Jeffrey A. Miron & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1995. "The Economic Case against Drug Prohibition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 175-192, Fall.
  8. Shavell, Steven, 1987. "The Optimal Use of Nonmonetary Sanctions as a Deterrent," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 584-92, September.
  9. Friedman, David & Sjostrom, William, 1993. "Hanged for a Sheep--The Economics of Marginal Deterrence," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 345-66, June.
  10. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Arun S. Malik, 1990. "Avoidance, Screening and Optimum Enforcement," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 341-353, Autumn.
  12. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1993. "Enforcement Costs and the Optimal Magnitude and Probability of Fines," NBER Working Papers 3429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Wilde, Louis L., 1992. "Criminal choice, nonmonetary sanctions and marginal deterrence: A normative analysis," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 333-344, September.
  14. Craswell, Richard & Calfee, John E, 1986. "Deterrence and Uncertain Legal Standards," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 279-303, Fall.
  15. Shavell, Steven, 1992. "A note on marginal deterrence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 345-355, September.
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