NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

An Investigation of the Effects of Alcohol Policies on Youth STDs

Michael Grossman, Robert Kaestner, Sara Markowitz

NBER Working Paper No. 10949
Issued in December 2004
NBER Program(s):   HE   CH

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of alcohol policies in reducing the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases among youth. Previous research has shown that risky sexual practices (e.g., unprotected sex and multiple partners) that increase the risk of contracting a STD are highly correlated with alcohol use. If alcohol is a cause of risky sexual behavior, then policies that reduce the consumption of alcohol may also reduce the incidence of STDs. In this paper, we examine the relationship between alcohol policies (e.g., beer taxes and statutes pertaining to alcohol sales and drunk driving) and rates of gonorrhea and AIDS among teenagers and young adults. Results indicate that higher beer taxes are associated with lower rates of gonorrhea for males and are suggestive of lower AIDS rates. Strict drunk driving policies in the form of zero tolerance laws may also lower the gonorrhea rate among males under the legal drinking age.

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Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10949

Published:

  • Sara Markowitz & Robert Kaestner & Michael Grossman, 2005. "An Investigation of the Effects of Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol Policies on Youth Risky Sexual Behaviors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 263-266, May.
  • Substance Use: Individual Behavior, Social Interaction, Markets and Politics, edited by Bjorn Lindgren and Michael Grossman. Volume 16 of Advances in Health Economics and Health Services Research. Amsterdam: JAI, an imprint of Elsevier Ltd., 2005, pp. 229-256

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