The Effect of Minimum Legal Drinking Age Restrictions on Teenage Pregnancy and Pregnancy Outcomes
I estimate the effect of state minimum legal drinking ages (MLDA) on teen pregnancy, birth, and abortion rates using individual level data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Results from a discrete-time hazard model indicate that a decrease in the MLDA below 21 years increases the probability of pregnancy among black teens and, surprisingly, decreases the probability of pregnancy among Hispanics. Yet, the effect on white women is statistically insignificant. I find evidence of a link between pregnancy outcome and changes in the individual alcohol consumption eligibility status at the time of pregnancy. A similar, yet statistically weaker, association is observed for changes in the MLDA at the time of pregnancy.
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