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

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  • Jason M. Lindo
  • Peter Siminski
  • Oleg Yerokhin

Abstract

A large literature has documented significant public health benefits associated with the minimum legal drinking age in the USA, particularly because of the resulting effects on motor vehicle accidents. These benefits form the primary basis for continued efforts to restrict youth access to alcohol. It is important to keep in mind 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 effects 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 efforts against drunk driving. Using an age‐based regression discontinuity design applied to restricted‐use data from several sources, we find no evidence that legal access to alcohol has effects on motor vehicle accidents of any type in New South Wales, despite having large effects on drinking and on hospitalizations due to alcohol abuse. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • 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
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.3197
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kamalow, Raffael & Siedler, Thomas, 2019. "The Effects of Stepwise Minimum Legal Drinking Age Legislation on Mortality: Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 12456, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Alexander Ahammer & Stefan Bauernschuster & Martin Halla & Hannah Lachenmaier, 2020. "Minimum Legal Drinking Age and the Social Gradient in Binge Drinking," CESifo Working Paper Series 8806, CESifo.
    3. Heckley, Gawain & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Jarl, Johan, 2018. "Too Young to Die: Regression Discontinuity of a Two-Part Minimum Legal Drinking Age Policy and the Causal Effect of Alcohol on Health," Working Papers 2018:4, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    4. Kabir Dasgupta & Christopher Erwin & Alexander Plum, 2020. "The Devil is in the Details: Identifying the Unbiased Link between Access to Alcohol and Criminal Behavior," Working Papers 2020-12, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. Francesconi, Marco & James, Jonathan, 2021. "None for the Road? Stricter Drink Driving Laws and Road Accidents," IZA Discussion Papers 14499, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Frank A. Sloan, 2020. "Drinking and Driving," NBER Working Papers 26779, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hansen, Benjamin & Waddell, Glen R., 2018. "Legal access to alcohol and criminality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 277-289.
    9. Romain Gauriot & Lionel Page, 2019. "Does Success Breed Success? a Quasi-Experiment on Strategic Momentum in Dynamic Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(624), pages 3107-3136.
    10. Ha, Joung Yeob & Smith, Austin C., 2019. "Legal access to alcohol and academic performance: Who is affected?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 19-22.
    11. Roesel, Felix, 2017. "The causal effect of wrong-hand drive vehicles on road safety," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 11, pages 15-22.
    12. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Nilsson, Anton, 2020. "Legal Drinking, Injury and Harm: Evidence from the Introduction and Modifications of Age Limits in Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 13401, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Dehos, Fabian, 2020. "Legal access to alcohol and its impact on drinking and crime," Ruhr Economic Papers 884, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    14. Marco Francesconi & Jonathan James, 2021. "None for the Road? Stricter Drink Driving Laws and Road Accidents," CESifo Working Paper Series 9159, CESifo.
    15. Kettlewell, Nathan & Siminski, Peter, 2020. "Optimal Model Selection in RDD and Related Settings Using Placebo Zones," IZA Discussion Papers 13639, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Alexander S. Skorobogatov, 2021. "The effect of alcohol sales restrictions on alcohol poisoning mortality: Evidence from Russia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(6), pages 1417-1442, June.
    17. Marcos Y. Nakaguma & Brandon J. Restrepo, 2018. "Restricting access to alcohol and public health: Evidence from electoral dry laws in Brazil," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 141-156, January.

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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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