IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The impact of relative residence times on the distribution of heavy drinkers in highly distinct environments


  • Mubayi, Anuj
  • Greenwood, Priscilla E.
  • Castillo-Chávez, Carlos
  • Gruenewald, Paul J.
  • Gorman, Dennis M.


Alcohol consumption is a function of social dynamics, environmental contexts, individuals' preferences and family history. Empirical surveys have focused primarily on identification of risk factors for high-level drinking but have done little to clarify the underlying mechanisms at work. Also, there have been few attempts to apply nonlinear dynamics to the study of these mechanisms and processes at the population level. A simple framework where drinking is modeled as a socially contagious process in low- and high-risk connected environments is introduced. Individuals are classified as light, moderate (assumed mobile), and heavy drinkers. Moderate drinkers provide the link between both environments, that is, they are assumed to be the only individuals drinking in both settings. The focus here is on the effect of moderate drinkers, measured by the proportion of their time spent in "low-" versus "high-" risk drinking environments, on the distribution of drinkers. A simple model within our contact framework predicts that if the relative residence times of moderate drinkers are distributed randomly between low- and high-risk environments then the proportion of heavy drinkers is likely to be higher than expected. However, the full story even in a highly simplified setting is not so simple because "strong" local social mixing tends to increase high-risk drinking on its own. High levels of social interaction between light and moderate drinkers in low-risk environments can diminish the importance of the distribution of relative drinking times on the prevalence of heavy drinking.

Suggested Citation

  • Mubayi, Anuj & Greenwood, Priscilla E. & Castillo-Chávez, Carlos & Gruenewald, Paul J. & Gorman, Dennis M., 2010. "The impact of relative residence times on the distribution of heavy drinkers in highly distinct environments," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 45-56, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceps:v:44:y:2010:i:1:p:45-56

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. L. Randall Wray & Stephanie Bell, 2004. "Introduction," Chapters,in: Credit and State Theories of Money, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Engs, Ruth C. & Hanson, David J., 1994. "Boozing and brawling on campus: A national study of violent problems associated with drinking over the past decade," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 171-180.
    3. Winkler, Doris & Caulkins, Jonathan P. & Behrens, Doris A. & Tragler, Gernot, 2004. "Estimating the relative efficiency of various forms of prevention at different stages of a drug epidemic," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 43-56, March.
    4. Caulkins, Jonathan P. & Tragler, Gernot, 2004. "Dynamic drug policy: an introduction and overview," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 1-6, March.
    5. Philippe Robert-Demontrond & R. Ringoot, 2004. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00081823, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:soceps:v:44:y:2010:i:1:p:45-56. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.