Waterloo economics series | 2006

Abstracts of working papers

#06-001 -- Anindya Sen

Sex, teen pregnancies, STDs, and beer prices empirical evidence from Canada (with May Luong, policy analyst, social development Canada) (PDF)

Abstract

We evaluate the effects of higher beer prices on gonorrhea, chlamydia, and teen pregnancy rates by pooling data across Canadian provinces over time. Higher real beer prices are significantly correlated with a reduction in both gonorrhea and chlamydia rates with price elasticities ranging from -0.6 to -1.4. In contrast, an increase in the minimum legal drinking age is significantly associated with a reduction in teen pregnancies as well as births. Finally, Instrumental Variables (IV) estimates from the 1996 National Population Health Surveys (NPHS) validate that increased alcohol consumption is correlated with risky sexual practices, and ultimately with an increased likelihood of being infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD).