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The Role of Alcohol and Drug Consumption in Determining Physical Fights and Weapon Carrying by Teenagers

  • Sara Markowitz

The purpose of this study is to examine the question of whether alcohol or drug use causes teenagers to engage in violent behaviors as measured by physical fighting, carrying a gun, or carrying other types of weapons. Simple OLS estimation of the effects of drug and alcohol consumption on violence may be biased because of the possibility that both behaviors are determined by unmeasured individual traits. Two-stage least squares estimates are employed to establish causality. This method first predicts consumption using the prices of beer, marijuana and cocaine and then enters predicted consumption in the violence equation. This technique allows the consumption measures to be purged of their correlation with unobserved characteristics. Data come from the National School-Based Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, which are nationally representative samples of high school students. Results indicate that beer and marijuana consumption do cause teens to engage in more physical fights, while cocaine use appears to have no relationship. None of the substances lead to increased probabilities of carrying a gun or other weapon.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7500.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7500.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Eastern Economic Journal, 27, No.4 (Fall 2001), 409-432.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7500
Note: HE
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. Sara Markowitz, 2000. "The Price of Alcohol, Wife Abuse, and Husband Abuse," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 279-303, July.
  2. Grossman, Michael & Chaloupka, Frank J., 1998. "The demand for cocaine by young adults: a rational addiction approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 427-474, August.
  3. Michael Grossman & Frank J. Chaloupka & Ismail Sirtalan, 1995. "An Empirical Analysis of Alcohol Addiction: Results from the Monitoring the Future Panels," NBER Working Papers 5200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Matthew C. Farrelly & Jeremy W. Bray & Gary A. Zarkin & Brett W. Wendling & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, 1999. "The Effects of Prices and Policies on the Demand for Marijuana: Evidence from the National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse," NBER Working Papers 6940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Henry Saffer & Frank Chaloupka, 1998. "Demographic Differentials in the Demand for Alcohol and Illicit Drugs," NBER Working Papers 6432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Saffer, Henry & Chaloupka, Frank, 1999. "The Demand for Illicit Drugs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 401-11, July.
  7. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  8. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  9. Michael Grossman & Sara Markowitz, 1999. "Alcohol Regulation and Violence on College Campuses," NBER Working Papers 7129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Markowitz, Sara & Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The effects of beer taxes on physical child abuse," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 271-282, March.
  11. 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, 07.
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