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An Investigation of the Effects of Alcohol Policies on Youth STDs

  • Michael Grossman
  • Robert Kaestner
  • Sara Markowitz

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of alcohol policies in reducing the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases among youth. Previous research has shown that risky sexual practices (e.g., unprotected sex and multiple partners) that increase the risk of contracting a STD are highly correlated with alcohol use. If alcohol is a cause of risky sexual behavior, then policies that reduce the consumption of alcohol may also reduce the incidence of STDs. In this paper, we examine the relationship between alcohol policies (e.g., beer taxes and statutes pertaining to alcohol sales and drunk driving) and rates of gonorrhea and AIDS among teenagers and young adults. Results indicate that higher beer taxes are associated with lower rates of gonorrhea for males and are suggestive of lower AIDS rates. Strict drunk driving policies in the form of zero tolerance laws may also lower the gonorrhea rate among males under the legal drinking age.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10949.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10949.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Publication status: published as Sara Markowitz & Robert Kaestner & Michael Grossman, 2005. "An Investigation of the Effects of Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol Policies on Youth Risky Sexual Behaviors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 263-266, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10949
Note: HE CH
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. 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.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  3. Carpenter, Christopher, 2004. "How do Zero Tolerance Drunk Driving Laws work?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 61-83, January.
  4. Michael J. Moore & Philip J. Cook, 1995. "Habit and Heterogeneity in the Youthful Demand for Alcohol," NBER Working Papers 5152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael Grossman & Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Saffer & Adit Laixuthai, 1993. "Effects of Alcohol Price Policy on Youth," NBER Working Papers 4385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Sen, Bisakha, 2002. "Does alcohol-use increase the risk of sexual intercourse among adolescents? Evidence from the NLSY97," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 1085-1093, November.
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