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Reducing underage alcohol and tobacco use: Evidence from the introduction of vertical identification cards

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  • Bellou, Andriana
  • Bhatt, Rachana

Abstract

From 1994 to 2009, forty-three states changed the design of their driver's license/state identification cards in an effort to reduce underage access to and consumption of alcohol and tobacco. In these states, individuals under the age of 21 are issued licenses that are vertically oriented, whereas licenses for individuals 21 and older retain a traditional horizontal shape. This paper examines the effect of this design change on underage alcohol and tobacco use. Using a difference-in-differences methodology, we find a reduction in drinking and smoking for 16 year olds. These results are upheld in a triple difference model that uses a within state control group of teens that did not receive a vertical license to control for state-specific unobserved factors. Interestingly, we find that the effects of the design change are concentrated in the 1–2 years after a state begins issuing vertical licenses. We consider various explanations for our findings: teen learning, the availability of false identification, and changes in retailer behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellou, Andriana & Bhatt, Rachana, 2013. "Reducing underage alcohol and tobacco use: Evidence from the introduction of vertical identification cards," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 353-366.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:32:y:2013:i:2:p:353-366
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2012.12.001
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    3. 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.
    4. Christopher S. Carpenter & Tim A. Bruckner & Thurston Domina & Julie Gerlinger & Sara Wakefield, 2019. "Effects of state education requirements for substance use prevention," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 78-86, January.
    5. Julie L. Hotchkiss & Yanling Qi, 2017. "Impact of Allowing Sunday Alcohol Sales in Georgia on Employment and Hours," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 84(2), pages 504-524, October.
    6. Erik Nesson & Vinish Shrestha, 2016. "The Effects of False Identification Laws with a Scanner Provision on Underage Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities," Working Papers 2016-17, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2020.
    7. Liu, Yongzheng & Alm, James, 2016. "“Province-Managing-County” fiscal reform, land expansion, and urban growth in China," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 82-100.
    8. Jennifer Trudeau & Karen Smith Conway, 2018. "The Effects Of Young Adult‐Dependent Coverage And Contraception Mandates On Young Women," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 73-92, January.
    9. Abboud, Tatiana & Bellou, Andriana & Lewis, Joshua, 2019. "The Long-Run Impacts of Adolescent Drinking: Evidence from Zero Tolerance Laws," IZA Discussion Papers 12833, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. David Paton & Stephen Bullivant & Juan Soto, 2020. "The impact of sex education mandates on teenage pregnancy: International evidence," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(7), pages 790-807, July.
    11. Gilpin, Gregory, 2019. "Teen driver licensure provisions, licensing, and vehicular fatalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 54-70.

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    Keywords

    Youth alcohol and tobacco policies;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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