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The Price of Alcohol, Wife Abuse, and Husband Abuse

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  • Sara Markowitz

Abstract

Alcohol consumption has been frequently linked to family violence. The purpose of this paper is to examine the direct relationship between the price of alcohol, which determines consumption, and violence towards spouses. The data come from the 1985 cross section and the 1985-1987 panel of the National Family Violence Survey. The 1985 data are a nationally representative sample while the panel oversamples violent individuals. Dichotomous indicators of severe violence towards wives and husbands are used. A reduced for violence equation is estimated, and individual-level fixed effects are used to control for unobserved characteristics in the panel. A consistent result that emerges from this paper is that an increase in the pure price of alcohol, as measured by a weighted average of the price of alcohol from beer, wine, and liquor, will serve to reduce severe violence aimed at wives. By contrast, the evidence on the propensity of an increase in the price of alcohol to lower violence towards husbands is mixed. When individual level characteristics are not controlled for, the price is not a predictor of violence towards men. However, once the individual traits are controlled for, a negative relationship between the price and violence emerges.

Suggested Citation

  • Sara Markowitz, 1999. "The Price of Alcohol, Wife Abuse, and Husband Abuse," NBER Working Papers 6916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6916
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    1. Amy Farmer & Jill Tiefenthaler, 1997. "An Economic Analysis of Domestic Violence," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(3), pages 337-358.
    2. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
    3. Tauchen, Helen V & Witte, Ann Dryden & Long, Sharon K, 1991. "Domestic Violence: A Nonrandom Affair," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(2), pages 491-511, May.
    4. 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.
    5. Helen V. Tauchen & Ann Dryden Witte & Sharon K. Long, 1985. "Domestic Violence: A Non-random Affair," NBER Working Papers 1665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Sara Markowitz & Michael Grossman, 1998. "The Effects of Alcohol Regulation on Physical Child Abuse," NBER Working Papers 6629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Sara Markowitz & Michael Grossman, 1998. "Alcohol Regulation And Domestic Violence Towards Children," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(3), pages 309-320, July.
    8. 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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    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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