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Alcohol Advertising and Motor Vehicle Fatalities

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  • Henry Saffer

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to empirically estimate the effect of alcohol advertising on motor vehicle fatalities. The concept of an industry level advertising response function is developed and other empirical issues in estimating the effects of advertising are reviewed. The data set consists of quarterly observations, from 1986 to 1989, for 75 advertising markets in the United States and includes 1200 observations. Since motor vehicle fatalities and alcohol advertising are jointly determined, Two Stage Least Squares is used in the estimation. Reduced form fatality models and advertising models are also estimated to predict the effect of changes in the price of advertising. The regression results show that alcohol advertising has a significant and positive effect on motor vehicle fatalities. The data and regression results are used to estimate the effects of two policy options. The first option is to ban all broadcast alcohol advertising. The data indicate that if a ban on broadcast alcohol advertising did not also include bans on other types of alcohol marketing, the effect on motor vehicle fatalities might be in the range of 2000 to 3000 lives saved per year. The second policy is the elimination of the tax deductibility of alcohol advertising. This policy could reduce alcohol advertising by about 27 percent, reduce motor vehicle fatalities by about 2300 deaths per year and raise about $336 million a year in new tax revenue.

Suggested Citation

  • Henry Saffer, 1994. "Alcohol Advertising and Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 4708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4708
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Saffer, Henry, 1993. "Alcohol advertising bans and alcohol abuse: Reply," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 229-234, July.
    2. Saffer, Henry, 1991. "Alcohol advertising bans and alcohol abuse: An international perspective," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 65-79, May.
    3. Ornstein, Stanley I & Hanssens, Dominique M, 1985. " Alcohol Control Laws and the Consumption of Distilled Spirits and Beer," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 200-213, September.
    4. Walsh, Brendan M, 1982. "The Demand for Alcohol in the UK: A Comment," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 439-446, June.
    5. Young, Douglas J., 1993. "Alcohol advertising bans and alcohol abuse: Comment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 213-228, July.
    6. Henry G. Grabowski, 1976. "The Effects of Advertising on the Interindustry Distribution of Demand," NBER Chapters,in: Explorations in Economic Research, Volume 3, number 1, pages 21-75 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carrell, Scott E. & Hoekstra, Mark & West, James E., 2011. "Does drinking impair college performance? Evidence from a regression discontinuity approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 54-62, February.
    2. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 2000. "Alcohol," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 30, pages 1629-1673 Elsevier.
    3. Lariviere, Eric & Larue, Bruno & Chalfant, Jim, 2000. "Modeling the demand for alcoholic beverages and advertising specifications," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 147-162, March.
    4. Daniel Albalate, 2007. "Lowering blood alcohol content levels to save lives: A European case study," Working Papers in Economics 173, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    5. Beth A. Freeborn & Brian McManus, 2010. "Substance Abuse Treatment and Motor Vehicle Fatalities," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 1032-1048, April.
    6. Shin-Yi Chou & Inas Rashad & Michael Grossman, 2008. "Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and Its Influence on Childhood Obesity," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(4), pages 599-618, November.
    7. Daniel Albalate, 2008. "Lowering blood alcohol content levels to save lives: The European experience," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 20-39.
    8. Mullins, Michelle & Milyo, Jeffrey & Sykuta, Michael E., 2006. "Regulating for Public Health: Motivations for and Efficacy of State Alcohol Regulations," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21176, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    9. Frank, Mark W., 2008. "Media substitution in advertising: A spirited case study," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 308-326, January.
    10. Deodhar, Satish Y. & Fletcher, Stanley M., 1998. "Dynamic Effects Of Peanut Butter Advertising On Peanut Butter Demand," Faculty Series 16702, University of Georgia, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    11. Lariviere, Eric & Larue, Bruno & Chalfant, Jim, 2000. "Modeling the demand for alcoholic beverages and advertising specifications," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 22(2), March.
    12. Nelson, Jon P., 2001. "Alcohol Advertising and Advertising Bans: A Survey of Research Methods, Results, and Policy Implications," Working Papers 7-01-2, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • M3 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising

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