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Economic Conditions and Alcohol Problems

  • Christopher Ruhm

This study investigates the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and two alcohol-related outcomes -- liquor consumption and highway vehicle fatalities. Fixed-effect models are estimated for the 48 contiguous states over the 1975-1988 time period and within-state variations are the focus of analysis. Alcohol consumption and traffic deaths vary procyclically, with a major portion of the effect of economic downturns attributed to reductions in incomes. The intake of hard liquor is the most sensitive to the state of the macroeconomy. There is no evidence, however, that fluctuations in economic conditions have a disproportionate impact on the drunk-driving of young adults.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4914.

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Date of creation: Nov 1994
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Health Economics, vol. 14, no. 5, December,1995, pp. 583-603.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4914
Note: HE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
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  1. Douglas Coate & Michael Grossman, 1986. "Effects of Alcoholic Beverage Prices and Legal Drinking Ages on Youth Alcohol Use," NBER Working Papers 1852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Manning, Willard G. & Blumberg, Linda & Moulton, Lawrence H., 1995. "The demand for alcohol: The differential response to price," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 123-148, June.
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  4. Henry Saffer & Michael Grossman, 1986. "Beer Taxes, the Legal Drinking Age, and Youth Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 1914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Philip J. Cook & George Tauchen, 1982. "The Effect of Liquor Taxes on Heavy Drinking," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 379-390, Autumn.
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  9. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1978. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 0274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mullahy, John & Sindelar, Jody L, 1994. "Do Drinkers Know When to Say When? An Empirical Analysis of Drunk Driving," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(3), pages 383-94, July.
  11. Forbes, John F. & McGregor, Alan, 1984. "Unemployment and mortality in post-war Scotland," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 239-257, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Hammarström, Anne & Janlert, Urban & Theorell, Töres, 1988. "Youth unemployment and ill health: Results from a 2-year follow-up study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 26(10), pages 1025-1033, January.
  14. Kenkel, Donald S, 1993. "Drinking, Driving, and Deterrence: The Effectiveness and Social Costs of Alternative Policies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 877-913, October.
  15. Junankar, P N, 1991. "Unemployment and Mortality in England and Wales: A Preliminary Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 305-20, April.
  16. Brenner, M. Harvey & Mooney, Anne, 1983. "Unemployment and health in the context of economic change," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 17(16), pages 1125-1138, January.
  17. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-24, March.
  18. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  19. Wagstaff, Adam, 1985. "Time series analysis of the relationship between unemployment and mortality: A survey of econometric critiques and replications of Brenner's studies," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 985-996, January.
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