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The effect of alcohol availability on marijuana use: Evidence from the minimum legal drinking age

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  • Crost, Benjamin
  • Guerrero, Santiago

Abstract

This paper exploits the discontinuity created by the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years to estimate the causal effect of increased alcohol availability on marijuana use. We find that consumption of marijuana decreases sharply at age 21, while consumption of alcohol increases, suggesting that marijuana and alcohol are substitutes. We further find that the substitution effect between alcohol and marijuana is stronger for women than for men. Our results suggest that policies designed to limit alcohol use have the unintended consequence of increasing marijuana use.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 112-121

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:1:p:112-121

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

Related research

Keywords: Alcohol; Marijuana; Drug use; Minimum legal drinking age; Regression discontinuity;

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References

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  1. DiNardo, John & Lemieux, Thomas, 2001. "Alcohol, marijuana, and American youth: the unintended consequences of government regulation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 991-1010, November.
  2. J. Williams & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula & Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Wechsler, 2004. "Alcohol and marijuana use among college students: economic complements or substitutes?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(9), pages 825-843.
  3. Christopher Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin, 2007. "The Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Mortality: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from the Minimum Drinking Age," NBER Working Papers 13374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Henry Saffer & Frank Chaloupka, 1998. "Demographic Differentials in the Demand for Alcohol and Illicit Drugs," NBER Working Papers 6432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Pacula, Rosalie Liccardo, 1998. "Does increasing the beer tax reduce marijuana consumption?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 557-585, October.
  6. Matthew C. Farrelly & Jeremy W. Bray & Gary A. Zarkin & Brett W. Wendling & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, 1999. "The Effects of Prices and Policies on the Demand for Marijuana: Evidence from the National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse," NBER Working Papers 6940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Working Papers 13039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Frank J. Chaloupka & Adit Laixuthai, 1997. "Do Youths Substitute Alcohol and Marijuana? Some Econometric Evidence," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 253-276, Summer.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. D. Mark Anderson & Benjamin Hansen & Daniel I. Rees, 2014. "Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use," NBER Working Papers 20332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jason Lindo & Peter Siminski & Oleg Yerokhin, 2014. "Breaking the Link Between Legal Access to Alcohol and Motor Vehicle Accidents: Evidence from New South Wales," Economics Working Papers wp14-02, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  3. Hefei Wen & Jason Hockenberry & Janet R. Cummings, 2014. "The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana, Alcohol, and Hard Drug Use," NBER Working Papers 20085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Scrimgeour, Dean & Conover, Emily, 2012. "Health Consequences of Easier Access to Alcohol: New Zealand Evidence," Working Papers 2012-04, Department of Economics, Colgate University, revised 20 Dec 2012.
  5. Anderson, D. Mark & Rees, Daniel I., 2011. "Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption," IZA Discussion Papers 6112, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Anderson, D. Mark & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Per Se Drugged Driving Laws and Traffic Fatalities," IZA Discussion Papers 7048, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Rosalie Liccardo Pacula & David Powell & Paul Heaton & Eric L. Sevigny, 2013. "Assessing the Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana and Alcohol Use: The Devil is in the Details," NBER Working Papers 19302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Pieroni, Luca & Chiavarini, Manuela & Minelli, Liliana & Salmasi, Luca, 2012. "The role of anti-smoking legislation on cigarette and alcohol consumption habits in Italy," MPRA Paper 42480, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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