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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

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  • Yörük, BarIs K.
  • Yörük, Ceren Ertan

Abstract

This paper uses a regression discontinuity design to estimate the impact of the minimum legal drinking age laws on alcohol consumption, smoking, and marijuana use among young adults. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1997 Cohort), we find that granting legal access to alcohol at age 21 leads to an increase in several measures of alcohol consumption, including an up to a 13 percentage point increase in the probability of drinking. Furthermore, this effect is robust under several different parametric and non-parametric models. We also find some evidence that the discrete jump in alcohol consumption at age 21 has negative spillover effects on marijuana use but does not affect the smoking habits of young adults. Our results indicate that although the change in alcohol consumption habits of young adults following their 21st birthday is less severe than previously known, policies that are designed to reduce drinking among young adults may have desirable impacts and can create public health benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:4:p:740-752
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Ceren Ertan Yörük & Barş K. Yörük, 2016. "Do Minimum Legal Tobacco Purchase Age Laws Work?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(3), pages 415-429, July.
    3. Boes, Stefan & Stillman, Steven, 2013. "Does Changing the Legal Drinking Age Influence Youth Behaviour?," IZA Discussion Papers 7522, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Yörük, Barış K., 2014. "Can technology help to reduce underage drinking? Evidence from the false ID laws with scanner provision," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 33-46.
    5. Conover, Emily & Scrimgeour, Dean, 2013. "Health consequences of easier access to alcohol: New Zealand evidence," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 570-585.
    6. Ceren Ertan Yörük & Barış Yörük, 2015. "Alcohol consumption and risky sexual behavior among young adults: evidence from minimum legal drinking age laws," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 133-157, January.
    7. Ertan Yörük, Ceren & Yörük, Barış K., 2012. "The impact of drinking on psychological well-being: Evidence from minimum drinking age laws in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(10), pages 1844-1854.
    8. Marigee Bacolod & Jesse M. Cunha & Yu-Chu Shen, 2017. "The Impact of Alcohol on Mental Health, Physical Fitness, and Job Performance," NBER Working Papers 23542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Sara Markowitz & Alison Cuellar & Ryan Conrad & Michael Grossman, 2014. "Alcohol control and foster care," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 589-612, December.
    10. Pieroni, Luca & Chiavarini, Manuela & Minelli, Liliana & Salmasi, Luca, 2013. "The role of anti-smoking legislation on cigarette and alcohol consumption habits in Italy," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 116-126.
    11. 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).
    12. Jungtaek Lee & Baris K. Yörük, 2014. "Does Legalization of Sunday Alcohol Sales Increase Crime?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5065, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Wen, Hefei & Hockenberry, Jason M. & Cummings, Janet R., 2015. "The effect of medical marijuana laws on adolescent and adult use of marijuana, alcohol, and other substances," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 64-80.
    14. Colin Peter Green & Bruce Philip Hollingsworth & Maria Navarro Paniagua, 2015. "Longer opening hours, alcohol consumption and health," Working Papers 100181794, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    15. Yörük, Barış K. & Yörük, Ceren Ertan, 2013. "The impact of minimum legal drinking age laws on alcohol consumption, smoking, and marijuana use revisited," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 477-479.

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