The Impact of Price, Availability, and Alcohol Control Policies on Binge Drinking in College

Frank J. Chaloupka, Henry Wechsler

NBER Working Paper No. 5319
Issued in October 1995
NBER Program(s):   HE

The effects of beer prices, alcohol availability, and policies related to driving under the influence of alcohol on drinking and binge drinking among youths and young adults are estimated using data from a nationally representative survey of students in U.S. colleges and universities. Drinking participation, participation in binge drinking and level of drinking equations are estimated using appropriate econometric methods. The estimates indicate that the drinking practices of college students are sensitive to the price of beer, with an average estimated price elasticity of drinking participation of -0.066 and an average estimated price elasticity of binge drinking of -0.145. However, when dividing the sample by gender, one finds that the effects of prices on drinking are limited to young women. In addition, a significant negative relationship is found for the strength of policies related to drinking and driving among youths and young adults and drinking by college students. However, the results indicate that many elements of campus life, (including participation in a fraternity or sorority, living on campus, and the ready availability of alcoholic beverages) are among the most important determinants of drinking and binge drinking among college students.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w5319

Published: Published as "Binge Drinking in College: The Impact of Price Availablityand Alcohol Control Policies"in Contempary Economic Policy, Vol. XIV, no.4pp. 112-124, Oct. 1996

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