Checking Out

Kevin Lewis

November 28, 2020

Cheers to Equality! Both Hostile and Benevolent Sexism Predict Increases in College Women’s Alcohol Consumption
Hannah Hamilton & Tracy DeHart
Sex Roles, December 2020, Pages 675-684


Based on research suggesting that alcohol consumption can be used as a means of coping with negative affect (Cooper et al. 1995), the current study examines sexism as a factor in college women’s alcohol consumption. Despite being more prevalent than hostile sexism, benevolent sexism is often viewed as less sexist (Oswald et al. 2018) and having a less aversive impact on women (Bosson et al. 2010). To increase understanding of the negative effects of both hostile and benevolent sexism, the current study experimentally manipulated sexism during a lab session and measured 176 U.S. college women’s actual alcohol consumption that evening. As predicted, college women who experienced either the hostile or the benevolent sexism condition reported consuming a greater number of alcoholic drinks, and those in the hostile sexism condition were more likely to meet the binge drinking threshold than participants in the control condition. This pattern suggests the importance of examining the unique effects of benevolent sexism in addition to hostile sexism because both may influence women’s behavior even in important health domains. Given the many negative consequences associated with alcohol consumption, our results provide evidence for education on healthy coping mechanisms and interventions to reduce both hostile and benevolent sexism.

The Economic Underpinnings of the Drug Epidemic
Nathan Seltzer
SSM - Population Health, forthcoming


U.S. labor markets have experienced transformative change over the past half century. Spurred on by global economic change, robotization, and the decline of labor unions, state labor markets have shifted away from an occupational regime dominated by the production of goods to one characterized by the provision of services. Prior studies have proposed that the deterioration of employment opportunities may be associated with the rise of substance use disorders and drug overdose deaths, yet no clear link between changes in labor market dynamics in the U.S. manufacturing sector and drug overdose deaths has been established. Using restricted-use vital registration records between 1999-2017 that comprise over 700,000 drug deaths, I test two questions: First, what is the association between manufacturing decline and drug and opioid overdose mortality rates? Second, how much of the increase in these drug-related outcomes can be predicted by manufacturing decline? The findings provide strong evidence that the restructuring of the U.S. labor market has played an important upstream role in the current drug crisis. Up to 92,000 overdose deaths for men and up to 44,000 overdose deaths for women are attributable to the decline of state-level manufacturing over this nearly two-decade period. These results persist in models that adjust for other social, economic, and policy trends changing at the same time. Critically, the findings signal the value of policy interventions that aim to reduce persistent economic precarity experienced by individuals and communities, especially the economic strain placed upon the middle class.

Impact of recreational marijuana legalization on crime: Evidence from Oregon
Guangzhen Wu, Ming Wen & Fernando
Wilson Journal of Criminal Justice, forthcoming


The legalization of recreational marijuana is a pivotal policy change, and its social consequences remain largely unknown. Central to the public concern is its impact on crime, about which competing views exist and empirical studies have yielded mixed results. Based on Uniform (UCR) data from 2007 to 2017, this study used Difference in Differences (DID) analysis to examine the impact of recreational marijuana legalization on the rates of a variety of serious crimes in Oregon, which passed its recreational marijuana law (RML) in late 2014. Results provide some evidence demonstrating a crime-exacerbating effect of recreational marijuana legalization, as reflected by substantial increases in the rates of multiple types of serious crimes as measured by the UCR in Oregon relative to non-legalized states following legalization, including property and violent crime overall, as well as other crimes such as burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny, and aggravated assault.

The Replacements: The Effect of Incarcerating Drug Offenders on First-Time Drug Sales Offending
Christopher Torres, Stewart D’Alessio & Lisa Stolzenberg
Crime & Delinquency, forthcoming


It is proffered that incarcerating offenders will not attenuate criminal activity because new offenders are readily available to supplant those who are imprisoned. This situation, referred to as offender replacement, is mostly applicable for drug selling crimes where a market for illegal drugs exists. We hypothesize that if the incarceration of established drug offenders attenuates competition and creates a fertile environment for novice drug dealers to enter the market, a rise in the drug incarceration rate should increase the likelihood of first-time drug selling behavior. Using a multilevel modeling procedure, we find that a one-unit increase in the drug incarceration rate results in a 15% rise in the odds of a first-time offender being prosecuted for a drug-selling crime.

Effects of a Community-Level Intervention on Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Crashes in California Cities: A Randomized Trial
Robert Saltz, Mallie Paschall & Sharon O'Hara
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, forthcoming

Setting/participants: A total of 24 California cities with populations between 50,000 and 450,000 were chosen at random and roughly matched into pairs before randomly assigning 12 each to the intervention and control conditions.

Intervention: The intervention, aimed at reducing excessive drinking among adolescents and young adults, included driving under the influence sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and undercover operations to reduce service of alcohol to intoxicated patrons in bars, all including high visibility so the public would be aware of them. A measure of overall intervention intensity or dosage was created.

Results: Multilevel analyses were conducted to examine intervention effects on alcohol-related crashes among drivers aged 15-30 years. Crash data were obtained in 2018 with data preparation and analysis conducted in 2019. Intent-to-treat analyses indicated a 17% reduction in the percentage of alcohol-involved crashes among drivers aged 15-30 years relative to controls, which translates to about 410 fewer crashes. Dosage was found to have a statistically significant effect on crashes among this age group, although not in the expected direction.

Health policy and genetic endowments: Understanding sources of response to Minimum Legal Drinking Age laws
Jason Fletcher & Qiongshi Lu
Health Economics, forthcoming


This paper uses policy‐induced variation in legal access to alcohol in the United States to explore interactions between genetic predispositions and health behaviors. It is well known that Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) laws have discrete impacts on binge drinking behaviors, but less is known about heterogeneity of the effects and the characteristics of individuals most and least affected. Using the Add Health data, this paper explores differential policy effects based on polygenic scores (PGS), which are genome‐wide summary measures predicting health outcomes. Specifically, we leverage PGS for alcoholism and for a broader set of risk‐taking behaviors to explore heterogeneities in response to the policy and consider mechanisms for the responses. Like previous literature using the Add Health and other datasets, we find main effects of MLDA in increasing recent binge drinking episodes by approximately 5 percentage points. We find MLDA effects are concentrated entirely in individuals with high PGS for alcohol use. We are also able to compare these results with measures of parental alcoholism as a global proxy for family history.


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