NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Economic Conditions and Alcohol Problems

Christopher Ruhm

NBER Working Paper No. 4914
Issued in November 1994
NBER Program(s):   HE

This study investigates the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and two alcohol-related outcomes -- liquor consumption and highway vehicle fatalities. Fixed-effect models are estimated for the 48 contiguous states over the 1975-1988 time period and within-state variations are the focus of analysis. Alcohol consumption and traffic deaths vary procyclically, with a major portion of the effect of economic downturns attributed to reductions in incomes. The intake of hard liquor is the most sensitive to the state of the macroeconomy. There is no evidence, however, that fluctuations in economic conditions have a disproportionate impact on the drunk-driving of young adults.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4914

Published: Journal of Health Economics, vol. 14, no. 5, December,1995, pp. 583-603. citation courtesy of

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