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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What drug provides Americans with the greatest pleasure and the greatest pain? The answer, hands down, is alcohol. The pain comes not only from drunk driving and lost lives but also addiction, family strife, crime, violence, poor health, and squandered human potential. Young and old, drinkers and abstainers alike, all are affected. Every American is paying for alcohol abuse.

Paying the Tab, the first comprehensive analysis of this complex policy issue, calls for broadening our approach to curbing destructive drinking. Over the last few decades, efforts to reduce the societal costs--curbing youth drinking and cracking down on drunk driving--have been somewhat effective, but woefully incomplete. In fact, American policymakers have ignored the influence of the supply side of the equation. Beer and liquor are far cheaper and more readily available today than in the 1950s and 1960s.

Philip Cook's well-researched and engaging account chronicles the history of our attempts to "legislate morality," the overlooked lessons from Prohibition, and the rise of Alcoholics Anonymous. He provides a thorough account of the scientific evidence that has accumulated over the last twenty-five years of economic and public-health research, which demonstrates that higher alcohol excise taxes and other supply restrictions are effective and underutilized policy tools that can cut abuse while preserving the pleasures of moderate consumption. Paying the Tab makes a powerful case for a policy course correction. Alcohol is too cheap, and it's costing all of us.

 

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Review: Paying the Tab: The Costs and Benefits of Alcohol Control

User Review  - Elizabeth - Goodreads

As seen on Freakonomics. Read full review

Review: Paying the Tab: The Costs and Benefits of Alcohol Control

User Review  - Eric - Goodreads

alcohol policy from the public health point of view. better written and more sensitive to liberty and health questions than i expected. but nothin' new or special. Read full review

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

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