An Investigation of the Effects of Alcohol Policies on Youth Stds

34 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2004 Last revised: 14 Aug 2009

See all articles by Michael Grossman

Michael Grossman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NY Office; CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics

Robert Kaestner

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sara Markowitz

Emory University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 2004

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of alcohol policies in reducing the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases among youth. Previous research has shown that risky sexual practices (e.g., unprotected sex and multiple partners) that increase the risk of contracting a STD are highly correlated with alcohol use. If alcohol is a cause of risky sexual behavior, then policies that reduce the consumption of alcohol may also reduce the incidence of STDs. In this paper, we examine the relationship between alcohol policies (e.g., beer taxes and statutes pertaining to alcohol sales and drunk driving) and rates of gonorrhea and AIDS among teenagers and young adults. Results indicate that higher beer taxes are associated with lower rates of gonorrhea for males and are suggestive of lower AIDS rates. Strict drunk driving policies in the form of zero tolerance laws may also lower the gonorrhea rate among males under the legal drinking age.

Suggested Citation

Grossman, Michael and Kaestner, Robert and Markowitz, Sara, An Investigation of the Effects of Alcohol Policies on Youth Stds (December 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10949. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=629591

Michael Grossman (Contact Author)

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Robert Kaestner

University of Chicago ( email )

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Sara Markowitz

Emory University ( email )

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