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Go out or stay in? The effects of zero tolerance laws on alcohol use and drinking and driving patterns among college students

  • Lan Liang
  • Jidong Huang

    (NERA Economic Consulting, USA)

Registered author(s):

    Zero tolerance laws make it illegal per se for anyone under age 21 to drive with any measurable amount of blood alcohol. Although a link has been established between zero tolerance laws and lower motor vehicle fatalities, research has not produced strong evidence on how zero tolerance laws influence individual alcohol use and drinking and driving behaviors. Using a unique data set and a difference-in-difference-in-difference-type research design, we are able to analyze a number of pathways through which zero tolerance laws can work among an important underage population, college students. We find that zero tolerance laws reduce drinking and driving among college students. Further analysis of our detailed alcohol use measures suggests that zero tolerance laws are particularly effective at reducing the probability of driving after drinking for those who reported drinking away from home. Published in 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1321
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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 11 ()
    Pages: 1261-1275

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:17:y:2008:i:11:p:1261-1275
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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    1. Michael Grossman & Sara Markowitz, 1999. "Alcohol Regulation and Violence on College Campuses," NBER Working Papers 7129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jenny Williams, 2005. "Habit formation and college students' demand for alcohol," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 119-134.
    3. Daniel Eisenberg, 2003. "Evaluating the effectiveness of policies related to drunk driving," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 249-274.
    4. Jenny Williams & Lisa Powell & Henry Wechsler, 2003. "Does alcohol consumption reduce human capital accumulation? Evidence from the College Alcohol Study," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(10), pages 1227-1239.
    5. Carpenter, Christopher, 2004. "How do Zero Tolerance Drunk Driving Laws work?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 61-83, January.
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