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Estimating Causal Effects Of Alcohol Access And Use On A Broad Set Of Risky Behaviors: Regression Discontinuity Evidence

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  • Jason M. Fletcher

Abstract

A growing body of evidence suggests large increases in criminal behavior and mortality coinciding with a young adult's 21st birthday, when alcohol consumption becomes legal. The policy implications from these findings have focused on the need to reduce drinking among young people, potentially by enforcing stricter alcohol controls. However, mortality and arrests are relatively infrequent outcomes and relatively less is known about the intermediate and more prevalent consequences of legal access to alcohol at age 21. This paper uses the Add Health data combined with a regression discontinuity approach to examine the effects of alcohol access on sexual behavior, drunk driving, violence, and other outcomes. The results suggest relatively large effects that appear concentrated in men. The sample also allows some suggestive policy implications on whether changing the minimum drinking age may reduce these consequences. (JEL I12, I18)

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  • Jason M. Fletcher, 2019. "Estimating Causal Effects Of Alcohol Access And Use On A Broad Set Of Risky Behaviors: Regression Discontinuity Evidence," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 427-448, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:37:y:2019:i:3:p:427-448
    DOI: 10.1111/coep.12405
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    Cited by:

    1. Jason M. Fletcher & Qiongshi Lu, 2021. "Health policy and genetic endowments: Understanding sources of response to Minimum Legal Drinking Age laws," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(1), pages 194-203, January.
    2. Francesconi, Marco & James, Jonathan, 2021. "None for the Road? Stricter Drink Driving Laws and Road Accidents," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    3. Marco Francesconi & Jonathan James, 2022. "Alcohol Price Floors and Externalities: The Case of Fatal Road Crashes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(4), pages 1118-1156, September.
    4. Nguyen, Hieu, 2019. "How does alcohol access affect transitional adults’ healthy dietary behaviors?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 82-95.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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