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Breaking The Link Between Legal Access To Alcohol And Motor Vehicle Accidents: Evidence From New South Wales


  • Jason M. Lindo
  • Peter Siminski
  • Oleg Yerokhin


A large literature has documented signi cant public health bene ts associated with the minimum legal drinking age in the United States, particularly because of the resulting e ects on motor vehicle accidents. These bene ts form the primary basis for continued e orts to restrict youth access to alcohol. It is important to keep in mind, though, that policymakers have a wide variety of alcohol-control options available to them, and understanding how these policies may complement or substitute for one another can improve policy making moving forward. Towards this end, we propose that investigating the causal e ects of the minimum legal drinking age in New South Wales, Australia provides a particularly informative case study, because Australian states are among the world leaders in their e orts against drunk driving. Using an age-based regression-discontinuity design applied to restricted-use data from several sources, we nd no evidence that legal access to alcohol has e ects on motor vehicle accidents of any type in New South Wales, despite having large e ects on drinking and on hospitalizations due to alcohol abuse.
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  • Jason M. Lindo & Peter Siminski & Oleg Yerokhin, 2016. "Breaking The Link Between Legal Access To Alcohol And Motor Vehicle Accidents: Evidence From New South Wales," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(7), pages 908-928, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:25:y:2016:i:7:p:908-928

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher S. Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin & Casey Warman, 2016. "The Mechanisms of Alcohol Control," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(2), pages 328-356.
    2. Romain Gauriot & Lionel Page, 2014. "Does success breed success? A quasi-experiment on strategic momentum in dynamic contests," QuBE Working Papers 028, QUT Business School.
    3. Roesel, Felix, 2017. "The causal effect of wrong-hand drive vehicles on road safety," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 11, pages 15-22.

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    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law


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