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Are Drinkers Prone to Engage in Risky Sexual Behaviors?


  • Ana I. Gil Lacruz
  • Marta Gil Lacruz
  • Juan Oliva


Sexually transmitted diseases pose an important public health problem around the world. Although many studies have explored the link between alcohol use and risky sexual practices, the unobserved differences among individuals make it difficult to assess whether the associations are casual in nature. In order to overcome these difficulties, we have obtained data from the Spanish Health and Sexual Behavior Survey (2003) in order to analyze risky sexual behaviors using four alternative methodologies: controlling results with a rich set of variables; identifying the impact of alcohol use while assuming there is an identical selection outcome for observed and unobserved variables; estimating alcohol consumption and risky sexual behaviors simultaneously based on instrumental variables; and using reduced-form equations to analyze the impact of alcohol prices and other alcohol policies on the likelihood of risky intercourse. We provide empirical evidence that alcohol abuse might increase the probability of risky sex and, more importantly, different alcohol policies are not only effective tools for reducing alcohol demand but also for controlling risky sexual behaviors.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana I. Gil Lacruz & Marta Gil Lacruz & Juan Oliva, 2009. "Are Drinkers Prone to Engage in Risky Sexual Behaviors?," Working Papers 2009-32, FEDEA.
  • Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2009-32

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Grossman & Robert Kaestner & Sara Markowitz, 2004. "Get High and Get Stupid: The Effect of Alcohol and Marijuana Use on Teen Sexual Behavior," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 413-441, September.
    2. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
    3. Saffer, Henry & Chaloupka, Frank, 1999. "The Demand for Illicit Drugs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 401-411, July.
    4. Don Kenkel, 2012. "Health Behaviours Among Young People," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Michael Grossman & Sarah Markowitz, 2005. "I Did What Last Night? Adolescent Risky Sexual Behaviors and Substance Abuse," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 383-405, Summer.
    6. Michael Grossman & Robert Kaestner & Sara Markowitz, 2004. "An Investigation of the Effects of Alcohol Policies on Youth STDs," NBER Working Papers 10949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Thomas S. Dee, 2001. "The Effects of Minimum Legal Drinking Ages on Teen Childbearing," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(4), pages 823-838.
    8. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    9. Rashad, Inas & Kaestner, Robert, 2004. "Teenage sex, drugs and alcohol use: problems identifying the cause of risky behaviors," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 493-503, May.
    10. Carpenter, Christopher, 2005. "Youth alcohol use and risky sexual behavior: evidence from underage drunk driving laws," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 613-628, May.
    11. Rees, Daniel I. & Argys, Laura M. & Averett, Susan L., 2001. "New evidence on the relationship between substance use and adolescent sexual behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 835-845, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Inna Cintina, 2011. "Alcohol use and pregnancies among youth: Evidence from a semi-parametric approach," Working Papers 2011-7, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
    2. Waddell, Glen R., 2010. "Gender and the Influence of Peer Alcohol Consumption on Adolescent Sexual Activity," IZA Discussion Papers 4880, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics

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