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The Cost of Binge Drinking

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  • Francesconi, Marco
  • James, Jonathan

Abstract

We estimate the effect of binge drinking on accident and emergency attendances, road accidents, arrests, and the number of police officers on duty using a variety of unique data from Britain and a two-sample minimum distance estimation procedure. Our estimates, which reveal sizeable effects of bingeing on all outcomes, are then used to monetize the short-term externalities of binge drinking. We find that these externalities are on average £4.9 billion per year ($7 billion), about £80 for each man, woman, and child living in the UK. The price that internalizes this externality is equivalent to an additional 9p per alcoholic unit, implying a 20% increase with respect to the current average price.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesconi, Marco & James, Jonathan, 2015. "The Cost of Binge Drinking," CEPR Discussion Papers 10412, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10412
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Alcohol; Arrests; Externalities; Health; Road accidents;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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