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The Impact of Price, Availability, and Alcohol Control Policies on Binge Drinking in College

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  • Frank J. Chaloupka
  • Henry Wechsler

Abstract

The effects of beer prices, alcohol availability, and policies related to driving under the influence of alcohol on drinking and binge drinking among youths and young adults are estimated using data from a nationally representative survey of students in U.S. colleges and universities. Drinking participation, participation in binge drinking and level of drinking equations are estimated using appropriate econometric methods. The estimates indicate that the drinking practices of college students are sensitive to the price of beer, with an average estimated price elasticity of drinking participation of -0.066 and an average estimated price elasticity of binge drinking of -0.145. However, when dividing the sample by gender, one finds that the effects of prices on drinking are limited to young women. In addition, a significant negative relationship is found for the strength of policies related to drinking and driving among youths and young adults and drinking by college students. However, the results indicate that many elements of campus life, (including participation in a fraternity or sorority, living on campus, and the ready availability of alcoholic beverages) are among the most important determinants of drinking and binge drinking among college students.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Wechsler, 1995. "The Impact of Price, Availability, and Alcohol Control Policies on Binge Drinking in College," NBER Working Papers 5319, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5319
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grossman, Michael & Chaloupka, Frank J & Sirtalan, Ismail, 1998. "An Empirical Analysis of Alcohol Addiction: Results from the Monitoring the Future Panels," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 39-48, January.
    2. Frank J. Chaloupka & Adit Laixuthai, 1997. "Do Youths Substitute Alcohol and Marijuana? Some Econometric Evidence," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 253-276, Summer.
    3. Adit Laixuthai & Frank J. Chaloupka, 1993. "Youth Alcohol Use And Public Policy," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 11(4), pages 70-81, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Chaloupka, Frank J & Saffer, Henry & Grossman, Michael, 1993. "Alcohol-Control Policies and Motor-Vehicle Fatalities," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 161-186, January.
    6. 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.
    7. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 1993. "Drinking and schooling," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 411-429, December.
    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. Coate, Douglas & Grossman, Michael, 1988. "Effects of Alcoholic Beverage Prices and Legal Drinking Ages on Youth Alcohol Use," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 145-171, April.
    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fredrik Berggren & Matthew Sutton, 1999. "Are frequency and intensity of participation decision-bearing aspects of consumption? An analysis of drinking behaviour," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(7), pages 865-874.
    2. Jeffrey A. Miron, 1997. "The Effects of Alcohol Prohibition on Alcohol Consumption," Papers 0078, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.

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