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Minimum Wages and Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities among Teens

Author

Listed:
  • Scott Adams

    (University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee)

  • McKinley L. Blackburn

    (University of South Carolina)

  • Chad D. Cotti

    (University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott Adams & McKinley L. Blackburn & Chad D. Cotti, 2012. "Minimum Wages and Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities among Teens," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 828-840, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:94:y:2012:i:3:p:828-840
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    minimum wage; traffic fatalities; alcohol-related accidents; alcohol; teen drivers;

    JEL classification:

    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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    1. Minimum Wages and Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities among Teens (REStat 2012) in ReplicationWiki

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