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The effect of drinking age laws and alcohol-related crashes: Time-series evidence from Wisconsin

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  • David N. Figlio

    (Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Oregon, Eugene)

Abstract

The imposition of a national 21-year minimum drinking age has sparked considerable controversy in recent years. Critics have contended that the perceived “successes” of the increased drinking age are actually due to underlying trends toward fewer alcohol-related crashes among teenagers, and would have occurred in the absence of an increased drinking age. I use monthly Wisconsin time-series data from 1976 to 1993 to estimate the effects of increased minimum drinking ages on alcohol-related crashes involving teenagers. I find that raising the drinking age has resulted in substantially lower alcohol-related crash rates involving teenagers. In addition, I find evidence that crashes increased in years in which Wisconsin's drinking age was lower than those of its neighbors, suggesting that “border hopping” resulted from interjurisdictional policy differences.

Suggested Citation

  • David N. Figlio, 1995. "The effect of drinking age laws and alcohol-related crashes: Time-series evidence from Wisconsin," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 555-566.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:14:y:1995:i:4:p:555-566
    DOI: 10.2307/3324909
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter Asch & David T. Levy, 1987. "Does the minimum drinking age affect traffic fatalities?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(2), pages 180-192.
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    Cited by:

    1. SF Koch & DC Ribar, 2001. "A Siblings Analysis Of The Effects Of Alcohol Consumption Onset On Educational Attainment," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 162-174, April.
    2. Baughman, Reagan & Conlin, Michael & Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Pepper, John, 2001. "Slippery when wet: the effects of local alcohol access laws on highway safety," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 1089-1096, November.

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