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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2010 May;7(5):1901-12. doi: 10.3390/ijerph7051901. Epub 2010 Apr 27.

Alcohol taxes and birth outcomes.

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  • 1Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


This study examines the relationships between alcohol taxation, drinking during pregnancy, and infant health. Merged data from the US Natality Detailed Files, as well as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (1985-2002), data regarding state taxes on beer, wine, and liquor, a state- and year-fixed-effect reduced-form regression were used. Results indicate that a one-cent ($0.01) increase in beer taxes decreased the incidence of low-birth-weight by about 1-2 percentage points. The binge drinking participation tax elasticity is -2.5 for beer and wine taxes and -9 for liquor taxes. These results demonstrate the potential intergenerational impact of increasing alcohol taxes.


APGAR Score; alcohol taxes; infant health; low birth weight

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