Social and Health Effects of Changes in Alcohol Prices: A Research Collaborative
Each year, about 79,000 deaths in the United States are attributable to excessive alcohol use.
A team of highly accomplished interdisciplinary public health researchers from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Florida, Boston Medical Center and the University of Illinois at Chicago have formed a research collaborative to inform the translation of the recommendations of the Guide to Community Preventive Services, which endorses alcohol tax increases as an effective means of reducing harmful use of alcohol, and others into public health practice by providing data, analysis, tools, and case studies to assist communities and policy makers seeking to influence alcohol pricing.
To support the collaborative’s aims, the UIC team is developing an online tool for modeling societal impacts of changes in state alcohol prices. Extensive econometric and other scientific studies will be used to assess the relationship between state alcohol prices and various economic measures, including beverage sales; excise and sales tax revenues; and economic costs (including health care, criminal justice, and lost productivity costs). In addition, sophisticated macroeconomic models available from Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) will be used to develop new evidence on the impact of alcoholic beverage taxes and prices on employment in five states. These states will be selected based on the contribution that alcoholic beverage manufacturing and distribution makes to the state economy, ranging from little-to-none to significant. The final model will be similar to those developed for assessing the impact of changes in the price of tobacco and sugar-sweetened beverages on employment. Alternative specifications for the model will be developed based on how the new tax revenues would be spent (e.g., designating it for prevention and treatment, devoting it to income tax relief or spending it in the same manner as general government revenue).
The results of these analyses will then be used to develop an on-line tool on the website of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, allowing state health agencies and other organizations to assess the relationship between state alcohol prices and various economic and health measures.
Boston Medical Center
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
University of Florida
The funding period for this work was extended by one year with no additional money.