NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Are Alcohol Excise Taxes Good For Us? Short and Long-Term Effects on Mortality Rates

Philip J. Cook, Jan Ostermann, Frank A. Sloan

NBER Working Paper No. 11138
Issued in February 2005
NBER Program(s):   HC

Regression results from a 30-year panel of the state-level data indicate that changes in alcohol-excise taxes cause a reduction in drinking and lower all-cause mortality in the short run. But those results do not fully capture the long-term mortality effects of a permanent change in drinking levels. In particular, since moderate drinking has a protective effect against heart disease in middle age, it is possible that a reduction in per capita drinking will result in some people drinking "too little" and dying sooner than they otherwise would. To explore that possibility, we simulate the effect of a one percent reduction in drinking on all-cause mortality for the age group 35-69, using several alternative assumptions about how the reduction is distributed across this population. We find that the long-term mortality effect of a one percent reduction in drinking is essentially nil.

download in pdf format
   (147 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (147 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11138

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Cook and Durrance w17709 The Virtuous Tax: Lifesaving and Crime-Prevention Effects of the 1991 Federal Alcohol-Tax Increase
Saffer w3200 Alcohol consumption and Tax Differentials Between Beer, Wine and Spirits
Cook and Moore w6905 Alcohol
DeCicca, Kenkel, and Liu w15941 Excise Tax Avoidance: The Case of State Cigarette Taxes
Dave and Kaestner w8562 Alcohol Taxes and Labor Market Outcomes
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us