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The Role of Alcohol and Drug Consumption in Determining Physical Fights and Weapon Carrying by Teenagers

Sara Markowitz ()

Eastern Economic Journal, 2001, vol. 27, issue 4, 409-432

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine the question of whether alcohol or drug use increases the likelihood that teenagers will engage in violent behaviors as measured by physical fighting, carrying a gun, or carrying other types of weapons. Simple OLS estimation of the effects of drug and alcohol consumption on violence may be biased because of the possibility that both behaviors are determined by the same unmeasured individual traits. Two-stage least squares estimates are employed, which purge the consumption measures of their correlation with unobserved characteristics. Data come from the National School-Based Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. Results indicated that increased beer and marijuana consumption do lead to more physical fights, while no firm conclusions can be drawn for cocaine use. Furthermore, there is no evidence that consumption of these substances will increase the probabilities of carrying a gun or other weapon.

Keywords: Teenager (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 J13 K42 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2001
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Eastern Economic Journal is currently edited by Cynthia A. Bansak, St. Lawrence University and Allan A. Zebedee, Clarkson University

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