Raising alcohol prices. Would drinking by high school students be lower if alcohol prices were higher? Do peers cause cause others to drink more often or heavier? Researchers asked these questions. They used data from nation-wide federal research.
The researchers found that peers were significant in the choice to drink. But they had no real impact on the frequency of drinking. That included heavy episodic or binge drinking.
Similarly, the price of alcohol had no real impact on the drinking of high school students.
- Peer drinking has a significant effect on the decision of high school students to drink.
- Alcohol prices do not affect the quantity or frequency of alcohol consumption by high school students.
The researchers concluded that ‘no significant impact on underage drinking will result from low-tax states’ increasing excise taxes on alcohol so they are similar to those of high-tax states.’ These findings are important for policies to reduce underage drinking.
- Ajilore O., et al. Alcohol consumption by youth. Peers, parents, or prices? Econ Hum Behav, 2016, 23, 76-83. DOI 10.1016/j.ehb.2016.07.003. PMID 27507725
- Gruenewald, P., et al. Alcohol price, beverage quality, and the demand for alcohol. Alco Clin Exper Res, Jan, 2006.
- Lau, H. Cost of Alcohol as a Determinant of Alcohol Consumption. In: Gibbins, R., et al. (eds.) Res Adv Alco Drug Prob, Vol. 2. NY: Wiley, 1975. Pp. 211-245.
- Manning, W., The demand for alcohol. The differential response to price. J Hlth Econ, 1995, 14(2), 123-148.
- Nelson, J. Binge drinking and alcohol prices. Health Econ Rev, 2015, 5, e6.
- Nelson, J. Meta-analysis of alcohol price and income elasticities. Hlth Econ Rev, 2013, 3, 17.
- Ornstein, S., and Levy, D. Price and income elasticities of demand for alcoholic beverages. Rec Adv Alco, 1983, 1, 303-345.
- Ruhm, C., et al. What U.S. Data Should be Used to Measure the Price Elasticity of Demand for Alcohol? Working Paper #17578. Washington: NBER, 2011.
- Alcohol Prices and Binge Drinking. Connected?
- Alcohol Prices and Harm from Alcohol Abuse
- Increasing Alcohol Prices Unlikely to Reduce Consumption
- Alcohol Availability and Alcohol-Related Harm
- Underage Drinking Rates
- Social Norms Marketing Reduces High School Drinking
- Drinking and Driving by U.S. High School Students