NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Long Term Effects of Minimum Legal Drinking Age Laws on Adult Alcohol Use and Driving Fatalities

Robert Kaestner, Benjamin Yarnoff

NBER Working Paper No. 15439
Issued in October 2009
NBER Program(s):   HE

We examine whether adult alcohol consumption and traffic fatalities are associated with the legal drinking environment when a person was between the ages of 18 and 20. We find that moving from an environment in which a person was never allowed to drink legally to one in which a person could always drink legally was associated with a 20 to 30 percent increase in alcohol consumption and a ten percent increase in fatal accidents for adult males. There were no statistically significant or practically important associations between the legal drinking environment when young and adult female alcohol consumption and driving fatalities.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15439

Published: Robert Kaestner & Benjamin Yarnoff, 2011. "Long-Term Effects of Minimum Legal Drinking Age Laws on Adult Alcohol Use and Driving Fatalities," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 325 - 363. citation courtesy of

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