Paying the Tab: The Costs and Benefits of Alcohol Control

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Princeton University Press, Aug 5, 2007 - Business & Economics - 262 pages
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"There is a vast literature on the illicit drugs, a large literature on nicotine, and nothing up-to-date and authoritative on the second most deadly, and arguably the most damaging, alcohol. Phil Cook, with a modesty and understatement that inspire trust, explores the options for reducing the harms, allowing the benefits, and respecting personal liberty. This is a masterly combination of analysis and evidence. It is also beautifully written."--Thomas C. Schelling, Nobel Prize-winning economist

"The war on tobacco was won: the harms were recognized and measures taken to reduce them. In this compelling book, Philip Cook shows that the war on alcohol, too, can be won if policymakers act on the overwhelming and converging evidence that simple measures can reduce the short-term and long-term harms caused by drinking. He brings order to a highly complicated set of causal issues by telling us what may be true, what is probably true, and what is indisputably true; and he shows how large gains can be made simply by taking account of the last set of facts."--Jon Elster, Columbia University

"This book contains the most thorough and penetrating analysis of alcohol-control policy to date. It is certain to become a landmark in the fields of health, economic, and public policy. It is a tour de force of virtually every aspect required to formulate sound policy in this crucial area. Bravo!"--Michael Grossman, City University of New York Graduate Center

"No previous book has brought alcohol policy issues together as comprehensively and set them in context as effectively as this one does. Perhaps most impressive is its author's ability to incorporate research from many fields and to translate this evidence and the evidence from his original analyses into a book that is both highly readable and accessible to a wide audience--an audience ranging from policy researchers and policymakers to public health professionals, historians, economists, and general readers."--Frank J. Chaloupka, University of Illinois, Chicago, and director of ImpacTeen

"Paying the Tab is unequivocally a major contribution to the field. Fully covering issues on both the supply and demand side of the market, with a wealth of new data, it provides the most comprehensive discussion of alcohol control that I am aware of. Economists will benefit tremendously from its presentation of the context for our current approach to the issue, and noneconomists will welcome the clear yet complete exposition of the methods used by economists to evaluate public policy."--Sara Markowitz, Rutgers University

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Rise and Fall of Alcohol Control
11
A Brief History of the Supply Side
13
The Alcoholism Movement
34
Evidence of Effectiveness
47
Drinking A Primer
49
Prices and Quantities
65
Alcohol Control as Injury Prevention
82
Evaluating Interventions
133
Regulating Supply
148
Taxing the Alcohol Industry
165
Youth as a Special Case
179
AlcoholControl Policy for the TwentyFirst Century
196
Methodological Appendix
203
Notes
207
References
221

LongTerm Effects Hearts and Minds
107
The Drinkers Bonus
120
Assessing Policy Options
131
Index
249
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Philip J. Cook is professor of public policy and economics at Duke University and former director of the university's Sanford Institute of Public Policy. His books include Gun Violence, The Winner-Take-All Society, and Selling Hope.

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