Are There Differential Effects of Price and Policy on College Students' Drinking Intensity?
22 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2002 Last revised: 17 Jul 2003
Date Written: January 2002
This paper investigates whether college students' response to alcohol price and policies differ according to their drinking intensity. Individual level data on drinking behavior, price paid per drink, and college alcohol policies come from the student and administrator components of the 1997 and 1999 waves of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) College Alcohol Study (CAS). Students drinking behavior is classified on the basis of the number of drinks they typically consume on a drinking occasion, and the number of times they have been drunk during the 30 days prior to survey. A generalized ordered logit model is used to determine whether key variables impact differentially the odds of drinking and the odds of heavy drinking. We find that students who faced a higher money price for alcohol are less likely to make the transition from abstainer to moderate drinker and moderate drinker to heavy drinker, and this effect is equal across thresholds. Campus bans on the use of alcohol are a greater deterrent to moving from abstainer to moderate drinker than moderate drinker to heavy drinker.
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