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Binge Drinking In College: The Impact Of Price, Availability, And Alcohol Control Policies

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  • FRANK J. CHALOUPKA
  • HENRY WECHSLER

Abstract

This paper estimates the effects of beer prices, alcohol availability, and policies related to driving under the influence of alcohol on drinking and binge drinking among youths and young adults. Data are from a nationally representative survey of students in U.S. colleges and universities. Separate estimates are obtained for underage male and female students, as well as for older male and female students. The estimates indicate that the drinking practices of male college students are generally insensitive to the price of beer. However, underage drinking and binge drinking by female students do respond significantly to price, although both are relatively inelastic. The results also show that strong drunk driving policies targeting youths and young adults significantly reduce drinking and binge drinking by male students. Similarly, these policies reduce drinking among female college students but appear to have little impact on their binge drinking. Instead, the results indicate that many elements of campus life (including participation in a fraternity or sorority, living on campus, and the ready availability of alcoholic beverages) are among the most important determinants of drinking and binge drinking among college students.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Wechsler, 1996. "Binge Drinking In College: The Impact Of Price, Availability, And Alcohol Control Policies," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(4), pages 112-124, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:14:y:1996:i:4:p:112-124
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-7287.1996.tb00638.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7287.1996.tb00638.x
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    1. Coate, Douglas & Grossman, Michael, 1988. "Effects of Alcoholic Beverage Prices and Legal Drinking Ages on Youth Alcohol Use," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 145-171, April.
    2. Kenkel, Donald S, 1993. "Drinking, Driving, and Deterrence: The Effectiveness and Social Costs of Alternative Policies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 877-913, October.
    3. Chaloupka, Frank J & Saffer, Henry & Grossman, Michael, 1993. "Alcohol-Control Policies and Motor-Vehicle Fatalities," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 161-186, January.
    4. Frank J. Chaloupka & Adit Laixuthai, 1997. "Do Youths Substitute Alcohol and Marijuana? Some Econometric Evidence," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 253-276, Summer.
    5. Henry Saffer & Michael Grossman, 1986. "Beer Taxes, the Legal Drinking Age, and Youth Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 1914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. DONALD S. Kenkel, 1993. "Prohibition Versus Taxation: Reconsidering The Legal Drinking Age," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 11(3), pages 48-57, July.
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