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Reducing Underage Alcohol and Tobacco Use: Evidence from the Introduction of Vertical Identification Cards

Author

Listed:
  • Bellou, Andriana

    () (University of Montreal)

  • Bhatt, Rachana

    () (Georgia State University)

Abstract

From 1994-2009, forty-three states changed the design of their driver's license/state identification cards in an effort to reduce underage access to and consumption of alcohol and tobacco. In these states, individuals under the age of 21 are issued licenses that are vertically oriented, whereas licenses for individuals 21 and older retain a traditional horizontal shape. This paper examines the effect of this design change on underage alcohol and tobacco use. Using a difference-in-difference methodology, we find a reduction in drinking and smoking for 16 year olds. These results are robust to the inclusion of state-specific linear time trends, and are upheld in a triple difference model that uses a within state control group of teens that did not receive a vertical license to control for state-specific unobserved factors. Interestingly, we find that the effects of the design change are concentrated in the 1-2 years after a state begins issuing vertical licenses; there is little evidence of an effect of the license on underage consumption in the long-run. This finding is consistent with a scenario where, over time, teens substitute towards other methods of obtaining age-restricted products, and/or retailers continue to make underage sales.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellou, Andriana & Bhatt, Rachana, 2012. "Reducing Underage Alcohol and Tobacco Use: Evidence from the Introduction of Vertical Identification Cards," IZA Discussion Papers 6951, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6951
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Yongzheng & Alm, James, 2016. "“Province-Managing-County” fiscal reform, land expansion, and urban growth in China," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 82-100.
    2. Yörük, Barış K., 2014. "Can technology help to reduce underage drinking? Evidence from the false ID laws with scanner provision," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 33-46.
    3. Hotchkiss, Julie L. & Qi, Yanling, 2015. "Impact of Allowing Sunday Alcohol Sales in Georgia on Employment and Hours," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2015-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, revised 01 Nov 2016.
    4. repec:eee:jhecon:v:57:y:2018:i:c:p:102-112 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Erik Nesson & Vinish Shrestha, 2016. "The Effects of False Identification Laws with a Scanner Provision on Underage Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities," Working Papers 2016-17, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2016.
    6. repec:bla:coecpo:v:36:y:2018:i:1:p:73-92 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    youth alcohol and tobacco policies;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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