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

Posted: 26 Oct 1999

See all articles by Frank J. Chaloupka

Frank J. Chaloupka

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Henry Wechsler

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Abstract

This paper estimates 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. Data are from a nationally representative survey of students in U.S. colleges and universities. Separate estimates are obtained for underage male and female students, as well as for older male and female students. The estimates indicate that the drinking practices of male college students are generally insensitive to the price of beer. However, underage drinking and binge drinking by female students do respond significantly to price, although both are relatively inelastic. The results also show that strong drunk driving policies targeting youths and young adults significantly reduce drinking and binge drinking by male students. Similarly, these policies reduce drinking among female college students but appear to have little impact on their binge drinking. Instead, 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.

JEL Classification: D12, I10

Suggested Citation

Chaloupka, Frank J. and Wechsler, Henry, Binge Drinking in College: The Impact of Price, Availability, and Alcohol Control Policies. CONTEMPORARY ECONOMIC POLICY (October 1996). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=5063

Frank J. Chaloupka (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Henry Wechsler

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

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United States

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