Economics and Antihealth Behavior
The Economic Analysis of Substance Use and Abuse
Published in: Reframing Health Behavior Change with Behavioral Economics / Bickel, W.K., Vuchinich, R.E. (eds). (Mahwah, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum and Associated, Inc., 2000), Chapter 4, p. 89-111
Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2000
This chapter reviews work that applies economic principles to the analysis of substance use and abuse. Specifically, we examine the impact of prices and public policies on the demands for tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs and on related outcomes. The findings from these studies clearly demonstrate that even in the case of addictive commodities, the law of demand still applies. Given the well-documented health and other consequences of substance use and abuse, policies lowering use, particularly by youth, are likely to result in significant long-run improvements in health.