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The Effect of Minimum Legal Drinking Age Restrictions on Teenage Pregnancy and Pregnancy Outcomes


  • Inna Cintina

    () (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Inna Cintina, 2012. "The Effect of Minimum Legal Drinking Age Restrictions on Teenage Pregnancy and Pregnancy Outcomes," Working Papers 201206, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:201206

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alston, Lee J. & Libecap, Gary D. & Mueller, Bernardo, 1999. "A model of rural conflict: violence and land reform policy in Brazil," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 135-160, May.
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    3. Barzel,Yoram, 1997. "Economic Analysis of Property Rights," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521597135, March.
    4. Lee J. Alston & Edwyna Harris & Bernardo Mueller, 2009. "De Facto and De Jure Property Rights: Land Settlement and Land Conflict on the Australian, Brazilian and U.S. Frontiers," CEPR Discussion Papers 607, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    5. Leandro Prados de la Escosura & Isabel Sanz-Villarroya, 2009. "Contract enforcement, capital accumulation, and Argentina's long-run decline," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 3(1), pages 1-26, January.
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    More about this item


    Minimum legal drinking age; Alcohol; Teen Pregnancy; Teen Births; Teen abortions; Discrete-time hazard model;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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