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A Pint for a Pound? Reevaluating the Relationship Between Minimum Drinking Age Laws and Birth Outcomes

Author

Listed:
  • Alan I. Barreca

    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • Marianne E. Page

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Davis)

Abstract

Previous research documents a substantive, positive, correlation between the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) and birth outcomes. Using an improved empirical framework, we reach a different conclusion: there is little or no relationship between the minimum legal drinking age and the health of infants born to young mothers. We do, however, find that MLDA policies are associated with the sex ratio at birth. Our estimates suggest that raising the MLDA may reduce fetal losses.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan I. Barreca & Marianne E. Page, 2012. "A Pint for a Pound? Reevaluating the Relationship Between Minimum Drinking Age Laws and Birth Outcomes," Working Papers 1220, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1220
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    File URL: http://repec.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1220.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 409-439.
    2. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Mårten Palme, 2009. "Chernobyl's Subclinical Legacy: Prenatal Exposure to Radioactive Fallout and School Outcomes in Sweden," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1729-1772.
    3. Fertig, Angela R. & Watson, Tara, 2009. "Minimum drinking age laws and infant health outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 737-747, May.
    4. Sanders, Nicholas J. & Stoecker, Charles, 2015. "Where have all the young men gone? Using sex ratios to measure fetal death rates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 30-45.
    5. Sen, Bisakha, 2002. "Does alcohol-use increase the risk of sexual intercourse among adolescents? Evidence from the NLSY97," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 1085-1093, November.
    6. R. Kaestner, 2000. "A note on the effect of minimum drinking age laws on youth alcohol consumption," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(3), pages 315-325, July.
    7. Thomas S. Dee, 2001. "The Effects of Minimum Legal Drinking Ages on Teen Childbearing," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(4), pages 823-838.
    8. Rashad, Inas & Kaestner, Robert, 2004. "Teenage sex, drugs and alcohol use: problems identifying the cause of risky behaviors," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 493-503, May.
    9. Carpenter, Christopher, 2005. "Youth alcohol use and risky sexual behavior: evidence from underage drunk driving laws," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 613-628, May.
    10. Rees, Daniel I. & Argys, Laura M. & Averett, Susan L., 2001. "New evidence on the relationship between substance use and adolescent sexual behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 835-845, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephanie Hinke Kessler Scholder & George L. Wehby & Sarah Lewis & Luisa Zuccolo, 2014. "Alcohol Exposure In Utero and Child Academic Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(576), pages 634-667, May.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    alcohol; minimum drinking age; infant health; birthweight; fetal death;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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