Essays in Health Economics: Effect of Economic Forces on Drinking and Smoking-Related Outcomes
Mathes, Michael Terry
Excessive alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are two activities that may have large negative impacts on health. Countless laws and research have focused on these activities because of the severity of their outcomes. In this dissertation, I address three economic forces that influence drinking and smoking behaviors directly and indirectly. I investigate how the opening of a Native American casino changes the drinking behavior of different populations. I research how tax competition affects cigarette prices and whether beer excise taxes fully pass through to prices. I find that the opening of a Native American casino leads to large increases in binge drinking among non-Native Americans living in the county where the casino is established. I show that cities located near Native American casinos, borders of states with lower cigarette taxes, and cities with higher rates of internet penetration have lower cigarette prices. Finally, I find that beer taxes pass-through to beer prices at a lower rate than previously reported. These three chapters provide important, new empirical evidence regarding economic forces and their effect on drinking and smoking outcomes.