Underage Drinking
  Health Effects of Alcohol
  Fact Sheets & Stats
  Research Links

Subscribe to our
Quarterly Newsletter



Research Links

ImpacTeen Research Papers and Presentations
ImpacTeen is an interdisciplinary partnership of nationally recognized substance abuse experts with specialties in such areas as economics, etiology, epidemiology, law, political science, public policy, psychology, and sociology. ImpacTeen is co-directed by economist Frank J. Chaloupka, PhD, and prevention researcher Brian R. Flay, DPhil, at the University of Illinois at the Chicago Institute for Health Research and Policy.

Alcohol and Marijuana Use Among College Students: Economic Complements or Substitutes?
Williams J, Pacula RL, Chaloupka FJ, Wechsler H.
College campuses have been cracking down on underage and binge drinking in light of recent highly publicized student deaths. Although there is evidence showing that stricter college alcohol policies have been effective at discouraging both drinking in general and frequent binge drinking on college campuses, recent evidence from the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS) shows that marijuana use among college students rose 22 percent between 1993 and 1999. Are current policies aimed at reducing alcohol consumption inadvertently encouraging marijuana use? This paper begins to address this question by investigating the relationship between the demand for alcohol and marijuana for college students using data from the 1993, 1997 and 1999 CAS. We find that alcohol and marijuana are economic complements and that policies that increase the full price of alcohol decrease participation in marijuana use.
Are There Differential Effects of Price and Policy on College Students' Drinking Intensity?
Williams J, Chaloupka FJ, Wechsler H.
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 form 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 heave drinker.
Habit and Heterogeneity in College Students' Demand for Alcohol
Williams J.
This research investigates whether the positive association between college students' current and high-school drinking is due to habit formation or the influence of unobserved components of individual taste. Determining the mechanism underlying the persistence in alcohol use has significant policy implications. If habit formation exists, then policies that reduce alcohol use in one period should also reduce alcohol use in future periods. If however, persistence reflects unmeasured personal characteristics, then policies targeting youth will have no impact on their long term drinking behavior. The empirical investigation is based on individual level data from the 1997 and 199 waves of the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS). CAS provides information on students' current drinking behavior as well as retrospective information on drinking during the final year of high-school. An instrumental variables framework is used to address heterogeneity issue in examining the relationship between past and current drinking. The results show that after controlling for individual specific unobserved characteristics, high-school drinking has a significant and positive impact on college drinking, indicating the existence of habit formation. However, the effect of habituation is found to be moderated by unobserved heterogeneity.
Does Alcohol Consumption Reduce Human Capital Accumulation? Evidence from the College Alcohol Study
Williams J, Powell LM, Wechsler H.
It is often conjectured that a significant cost of youthful drinking is the future labor market consequences of having accumulated a lower stock of human capital. While several studies have investigated the effect of youthful drinking on the quantity of human capita stock accumulated, measured by years of education completed or high-school graduation, this paper investigates the effect of alcohol consumption on the quality of human capital stock accumulated as measured by college students' GPA. Using data from the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study, we estimate the indirect effect of the quantity of alcohol consumed on GPA through hours spend studying as well as the direct effect. Our results show that the net total effect of alcohol consumption on GPA is negative for the sample of college students, and that the main effect is via a reduction in the hours spent studying. This finding confirms that high levels of alcohol consumption have an overall negative consequence for academic achievement, and hence future labor market outcomes.
Study Habits and the Level of Alcohol Use Among College Students
Powell LM, Williams J, Wechsler H.
This paper draws on the 1997 and 1999 wave of the College Alcohol Study to examine the effect of alcohol consumption among college students on study habits. A two-state generalized least squares estimation procedure is used to account for the potential correlation in the unobserved characteristics determining drinking behavior and study habits. Our results reveal that failing to account for the endogeneity of the level of drinking leads to an over-estimate of its effect on the likelihood that a student misses a class or gets behind in school. We also find differential effects of drinking on the study habits of freshman students and their upper-year counterparts.
Binge Drinking and Violence among College Students: Sensitivity to Correlation in the Unobservables
Powell LM, Ciecierski CU, Chaloupka FJ, Wechsler H.
This paper examines the relationship between binge drinking and violence-related outcomes among college students. Drawing on data from the 1997 and 1999 waves of the Harvard School of Public Health Alcohol College Study, we examine four violence-related outcomes that include: arguing, damaging property, trouble with the campus or local police, and injurt to oneself. We estimate a bivariate probit model to undertake sensitivity analyses based on different assumptions on the correlations of disturbances between drinking and violence. The bivariate probit results show that once we control for endogeneity based on rho = 0.1, binge and frequent binge drinking significantly affect all four violence-related outcomes but the magnitude of these effects is smaller than those suggested by the single-equation probit model by a factor of almost two for the binge drinking and by a factor of five in the frequent binge model. Our sensitivity analyses reveal that in order to conclude that binge and frequent binge drinking have no effect on violence-related outcomes, the correlation between the unobservables would have to be very large, approximately 0.4 to 0.5.

Tobacco and Alcohol Taxation
Chaloupka FJ
Slides from a presentation prepared for the American Medical Association’s Merging Coalitions: Is it Feasible, Reasonable or Wise? Meeting, August 21, 2003, Chicago, Illinois.

The Effects of Price on Alcohol Use, Abuse and Consequences
Chaloupka FJ
Slides from a presentation prepared for the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Developing a Strategy to Reduce and Prevent Underage Drinking’s Workshop on Underage Drinking: Issues and Approaches, October 10-11, 2002, Washington DC.

Retailers and the American Alcohol Point-of-Purchase Environment: 2000-2001
Terry-McElrath, Harwood, Myllyluoma, Erickson, Fabian, Slater, Chaloupka
Slides from a presentation prepared for the 13th Alcohol Policy Conference, March 14, 2003, Boston, MA.
Slides 1-19