cover of book

Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis
edited by Jonathan Gruber
University of Chicago Press, 2001
Cloth: 978-0-226-31013-8 | eISBN: 978-0-226-30997-2
Library of Congress Classification HQ796.R554 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.235

Every day young people engage in risky behaviors that affect not only their immediate well-being but their long-term health and safety. These well-honed essays apply diverse economic analyses to a wide range of unsafe activities, including teen drinking and driving, smoking, drug use, unprotected sex, and criminal activity. Economic principles are further applied to mental health and performance issues such as teenage depression, suicide, nutritional disorders, and high school dropout rates. Together, the essays yield notable findings: price and regulatory incentives are critical determinants of high-risk behavior, suggesting that youths do apply some sort of cost/benefit calculation when making decisions; the macroeconomic environment in which those decisions are made matters greatly; and youths who pursue high-risk behaviors are significantly more likely to engage in similar behaviors as adults.

This important volume provides both a key data source for public policy makers and a clear affirmation of the usefulness of economic analysis to our understanding of risky behavior.
Jonathan Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a research associate and director of the Program on Children of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
    Jonathan Gruber
    1. Risky Behavior among Youths: Some Issues from Behavioral Economics
    Ted O’Donoghue and Matthew Rabin
    2. Youth Smoking in the United States: Evidence and Implications
    Jonathan Gruber and Jonathan Zinman
    3. Teens and Traffic Safety
    Thomas S. Dee and William N. Evans
    4. The Sexual Activity and Birth-Control Use of American Teenagers
    Phillip B. Levine
    5. Explaining the Rise in Youth Suicide
    David M. Cutler, Edward L. Glaeser, and Karen E. Norberg
    6. Marijuana and Youth
    Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Michael Grossman, Frank J. Chaloupka, Patrick M. O’Malley, Lloyd D. Johnston, and Matthew C. Farrelly
    7. The Determinants of Juvenile Crime
    Steven D. Levitt and Lance Lochner
    8. Environment and Persistence in Youthful Drinking Patterns
    Philip J. Cook and Michael J. Moore
    9. Dropout and Enrollment Trends in the Postwar Period: What Went Wrong in the 1970s?
    David Card and Thomas Lemieux
    10. Youths at Nutrition Risk: Malnourished or Misnourished?
    Jay Bhattacharya and Janet Currie
    Author Index
    Subject Index

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