Minimum Wages and Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities among Teens
Using cross-state variation in minimum wages, we observe a positive relationship between the minimum wage and the number of alcohol-related accidents involving teen drivers. A similar effect is not observed when examining accidents among adults. The results are consistent with a positive income elasticity for alcoholic beverages and driving activities among young people, in particular for consumption out of discretionary income accorded by higher minimum wages. Evidence of a sizable impact of beer taxes on alcohol-related accidents among youths suggests that beer taxes are one avenue for policymakers to consider in counteracting this unintended consequence of minimum wages. © 2012 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Volume (Year): 94 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
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