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The impact of drinking on psychological well-being: Evidence from minimum drinking age laws in the United States

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  • Ertan Yörük, Ceren
  • Yörük, Barış K.

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the relationship between alcohol consumption and psychological well-being among young adults in the United States. We do so by exploiting the discontinuity in alcohol consumption at age 21 and using a regression discontinuity design. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1997 Cohort), we document that young adults tend to increase their alcohol consumption and drink on average 1.5 days per month more once they are granted legal access to alcohol at age 21. However, we also show that in general, this discrete jump in alcohol consumption at age 21 has no statistically significant impact on several indicators of psychological well-being among young adults. This result suggests that although stricter alcohol control targeted toward young adults may result in meaningful reductions in alcohol consumption, the immediate spillover effects of such policies on psychological well-being are relatively limited.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
Issue (Month): 10 ()
Pages: 1844-1854

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:10:p:1844-1854

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Keywords: United States; Alcohol consumption; Minimum legal drinking age; Psychological well-being;

References

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  17. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
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  21. Yörük, BarIs K. & Yörük, Ceren Ertan, 2011. "The impact of minimum legal drinking age laws on alcohol consumption, smoking, and marijuana use: Evidence from a regression discontinuity design using exact date of birth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 740-752, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Ceren Ertan Yoruk & Baris Yoruk, 2013. "Alcohol Consumption and Risky Sexual Behavior Among Young Adults: Evidence from Minimum Legal Drinking Age Laws," Discussion Papers 13-11, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.

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