Alcohol Regulation and Violence on College Campuses

Michael Grossman, Sara Markowitz

NBER Working Paper No. 7129
Issued in May 1999
NBER Program(s):Health Economics

This study focuses on the effects of variations in alcoholic beverage prices among states of the United States on violence on college campuses. The principal hypothesis tested is that the incidence of violence is negatively related to the price of alcohol. This hypothesis is derived from two well established relationships: the positive relationship between alcohol and violence and the negative relationship between the use of alcohol and its price. The data employed in the study are the 1989, 1990, and 1991 Core Alcohol and Drug Surveys of College Students. They contain almost 120,000 college students from approximately 200 colleges and universities throughout the United States and have measures of alcohol use and the adverse consequences of its use. These adverse consequences include the following indicators of violence: getting in trouble with the police, residence hall, or other college authorities; damaging property or pulling a fire alarm; getting into an argument or a fight; and taking advantage of another person sexually or having been taken advantage of sexually. The principal finding is that the incidence of each of these four acts of violence is inversely related to the price of beer in the state in which the student attends college.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7129

Published: "The Economic Analysis of Substance Use and Abuse: The Experience of Developed Countries and Lessons for Developing Countries," edited by Michael Grossman and Chee-Ruey Hsieh, Edward Elgar Limited, United Kingdom, 2001.

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