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Keywords:

  • alcohol;
  • advertising;
  • consumption;
  • adolescents;
  • price

Abstract

This study investigates the effects of alcohol advertising on adolescent alcohol consumption. The theory of an industry response function and evidence from prior studies indicate the importance of maximizing the variance in advertising measures. Monitoring the Future (MTF) and National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) data are augmented with alcohol advertising, originating on the market level, for five media. The large sample of the MTF allows estimation of race and gender-specific models. The longitudinal nature of the NLSY97 allows controls for unobserved heterogeneity with state-level and individual fixed effects. Price and advertising effects are generally larger for females relative to males. Controls for individual heterogeneity yield larger advertising effects, implying that the MTF results may understate the effects of alcohol advertising. Results from the NLSY97 suggest that a 28% reduction in alcohol advertising would reduce adolescent monthly alcohol participation from 25% to between 24 and 21%. For binge participation, the reduction would be from 12% to between 11 and 8%. The past month price–participation elasticity is estimated at −0.26, consistent with prior studies. The results show that reduction of alcohol advertising can produce a modest decline in adolescent alcohol consumption, though effects may vary by race and gender. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.