Does increasing the beer tax reduce marijuana consumption?

J Health Econ. 1998 Oct;17(5):557-85. doi: 10.1016/s0167-6296(97)00039-8.


Previous studies suggest that alcohol and marijuana are economic substitutes, so recent policies restricting the availability of alcohol have led to an increase in the amount of marijuana consumed. Using micro-level data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) to estimate individual demand equations for alcohol and marijuana, this research finds that alcohol and marijuana are economic complements, not substitutes. Further, this research finds that increases in the federal tax on beer will generate a larger reduction in the unconditional demand for marijuana than for alcohol in percentage terms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / economics
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Beer / economics*
  • Drug and Narcotic Control / economics*
  • Drug and Narcotic Control / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Marijuana Smoking / economics
  • Marijuana Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Taxes / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • United States / epidemiology