Date of Award

7-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Economics

Advisor

Maloney, Michael

Committee Member

Mittelstaedt , John

Committee Member

Mroz , Thomas

Abstract

Alcoholic beverages are consumed all over the world and have been consumed for centuries. The excessive consumption of alcohol many times results in negative consequences. These consequences not only can affect the individual consuming the alcohol, but also others around them. This research looks at some of the negative medical consequences that can develop from an individual consuming alcohol excessively. The cost of an average hospital stay for an individual with liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and esophageal cancer was analyzed along with the opportunity cost for the wages that would be lost if an individual could not attend his place of employment due to his hospital stay. The results show that on average the cost of one hospital stay in 2005 for one of the tested health related conditions can be between 18%-30% of the average annual income if a person has health insurance. If an individual is without health insurance the cost of a hospital stay can be between 92%-140%. These results show that developing any alcohol related health conditions can be extremely costly for an individual. Next the research conducted three OLS log-linear regressions to determine which factors have the most effect in reducing alcohol consumption. It was determined that marital status, economic factors such as taxes and income, and alcohol control laws that regulate the availability of alcohol were the most successful and consistent in affecting the demand and consumption of alcohol. This would allow us to infer that the most effective means in reducing the consumption of alcohol would be the efficient use of economic variables and alcohol control laws. Reducing alcohol consumption could also indirectly reduce the negative associated consequences.

Included in

Economics Commons

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