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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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:10:p:1844-1854
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.07.020
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. repec:bpj:bejeap:v:17:y:2017:i:3:p:21:n:8 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jungtaek Lee & Baris K. Yörük, 2014. "Does Legalization of Sunday Alcohol Sales Increase Crime?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5065, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Geiger, Ben Baumberg & MacKerron, George, 2016. "Can alcohol make you happy? A subjective wellbeing approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 184-191.
    5. 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.
    6. Yörük Barış K., 2017. "Health Insurance Coverage and Risky Health Behaviors among Young Adults," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(3), pages 1-21, July.

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