Yakovlev, Evgeny (2013). Peers and alcohol: evidence from Russia. New Economic School Working Paper
For the last twenty years male mortality rate in Russia has increased by 50%. Alcohol abuse is agreed to be the main cause of this change. In this paper, I analyze the determinants of heavy drinking in Russia, such as the price of alcohol, peer effects and habits. By measuring the long and short-term price elasticity of alcohol consumption, I evaluate the short and long-term impact of regulatory taxation on consumer welfare and mortality. An increase in the price of vodka by 50% would save the lives of 40,000 males annually. Peers account for a quarter of this effect.
New Economic School Working Paper