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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

An Investigation of the Effects of Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol Policies on Youth Risky Sexual Behaviors

Sara Markowitz, Robert Kaestner, Michael Grossman

NBER Working Paper No. 11378
Issued in May 2005
NBER Program(s):   CH   HE

The problems of teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and the high rates of other sexually transmitted diseases among youth have lead to widespread concern with the sexual behaviors of teenagers. Alcohol use is one of the most commonly cited correlates of risky sexual behavior. The purpose of this research is to investigate the causal role of alcohol in determining sexual activity and risky sexual behavior among teenagers and young adults. This research also addresses the question of whether there are public policies that can reduce the risky sexual behavior that results in harmful consequences. Individual and aggregate level data are used to investigate these questions. Results show that alcohol use appears to have no causal influence in determining whether or not a teenage has sex. However, alcohol use may lower contraception use among sexually active teens.

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Published: Markowitz, Sara, Robert Kaestner and Michael Grossman. "An Investigation Of The Effects Of Alcohol Consumption And Alcohol Policies On Youth Risky Sexual Behaviors," American Economic Review, 2005, v95(2,May), 263-266.

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