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Underage alcohol use, delinquency, and criminal activity

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Author Info

  • Michael T. French

    (Health Economics Research Group, Department of Sociology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA)

  • Johanna C. Maclean

    (Health Economics Research Group, Department of Sociology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA)

Abstract

Since 1988, the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) has been 21 years for all 50 US states. The increasing prevalence of teenagers driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and the resulting traffic accidents were two main reasons for raising the MLDA to 21 years. Following the passage of this legislation, several published studies have found that the higher MLDA is associated with a significant reduction in both fatal and non-fatal accidents. While the relationship between MLDA and DUI events among young adults has been extensively studied, less information is available on other potential consequences of underage drinking. The present study uses data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a recent nationally representative survey, to investigate the effects of underage drinking on a variety of delinquency and criminal activity consequences. After controlling for the endogeneity of alcohol use where appropriate, we find strong evidence that various measures of alcohol consumption are related both to delinquency and to criminal activity. However, the findings are not uniform across gender as we find striking differences between males and females. These results have interesting policy and public health implications regarding underage drinking. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1126
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 12 ()
Pages: 1261-1281

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:15:y:2006:i:12:p:1261-1281

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Saffer & Michael Grossman, 1993. "Alcohol Control Policies and Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 3831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Saffer, Henry & Grossman, Michael, 1987. "Drinking Age Laws and Highway Mortality Rates: Cause and Effect," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 403-17, July.
  3. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 1993. "Drinking and schooling," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 411-429, December.
  4. Ziggy MacDonald & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Does problem drinking affect employment? Evidence from England," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(2), pages 139-155.
  5. Jenny Williams & Lisa Powell & Henry Wechsler, 2003. "Does alcohol consumption reduce human capital accumulation? Evidence from the College Alcohol Study," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(10), pages 1227-1239.
  6. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-85, May.
  7. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
  8. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  9. SF Koch & DC Ribar, 2001. "A Siblings Analysis Of The Effects Of Alcohol Consumption Onset On Educational Attainment," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 162-174, 04.
  10. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  11. Thomas S. Dee & William N. Evans, 2003. "Teen Drinking and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Two-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 178-209, January.
  12. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Split-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Return to Schooling," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 225-35, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Rainer Winkelmann, 2012. "Copula Bivariate Probit Models: With An Application To Medical Expenditures," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(12), pages 1444-1455, December.
  2. Nelson, Jon P., 2014. "Binge Drinking, Alcohol Prices, And Alcohol Taxes," Working Papers 164652, American Association of Wine Economists.

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