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Does alcohol consumption reinforce mental problems in adolescence?

  • Lacruz, Ana Isabel Gil
  • Lacruz, Marta Gil
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    The main goal of this article is to provide empirical evidence that alcohol consumption reinforces the occurrence of mental illnesses even at early stages of life. We control probit estimations for unobserved heterogeneity and endogeneity. We have drawn a sample of 73,024 individuals from the Spanish National Survey on Drug Use in the School Population (2000, 2002, 2004). Our results confirm our theoretical hypothesis that alcohol consumption has a negative influence on youth state of health, but the magnitude of this influence is lower once we controlled for unobserved heterogeneity and endogeneity. Gender differences reveal that females are more likely to have been prescribed tranquilizers, and they are also more vulnerable to alcohol consumption than males are. As effective instruments to improve young people well-being, we suggest increasing the price of liquors and a greater parental control in how their children spend their available budget, and more important, in how they feel.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

    Volume (Year): 39 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 223-232

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:39:y:2010:i:2:p:223-232
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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    1. Henry Saffer & Dhaval Dave, 2002. "Mental Illness and the Demand for Alcohol, Cocaine and Cigarettes," NBER Working Papers 8699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ana Isabel Gil & Jose Alberto Molina, 2007. "Human development and alcohol abuse in adolescence," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(10), pages 1315-1323.
    3. Ian Crawford & Sarah Tanner, 1995. "Bringing it all back home: alcohol taxation and cross-border shopping," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(2), pages 94-114, May.
    4. Michael P. Murray, 2006. "Avoiding Invalid Instruments and Coping with Weak Instruments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 111-132, Fall.
    5. Torsheim, Torbjorn & Currie, Candace & Boyce, William & Kalnins, Ilze & Overpeck, Mary & Haugland, Siren, 2004. "Material deprivation and self-rated health: a multilevel study of adolescents from 22 European and North American countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-12, July.
    6. F.-X. Huber & T. Hackert & P. Meeder, 2006. "Problems and costs associated with alcohol and drug abuse in emergency medicine," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 192-194, September.
    7. Ian Crawford & Sarah Tanner, 1999. "Alcohol taxes, tax revenues and the Single European Market," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 20(3), pages 287-304, September.
    8. Michael Grossman, 1993. "Policy Watch: Alcohol and Cigarette Taxes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 211-222, Fall.
    9. Henry Saffer & Frank Chaloupka, 1994. "Alcohol Tax Equalization and Social Costs," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 33-43, Winter.
    10. Gary S.Grossman Becker & Michael Murphy & Kevin M., 1991. "Rational Addiction and the Effect of Price on Consumption," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 68, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    11. Levy, Amnon, 2008. "A theory of entrenched socioeconomic deprivation and addiction to strong mind-altering substances," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1756-1767, October.
    12. Pogue, Thomas F & Sgontz, Larry G, 1989. "Taxing to Control Social Costs: The Case of Alcohol," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 235-43, March.
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