A Note on the Effect of Minimum Drinking Age Laws on Youth Alcohol Consumption

Posted: 3 Aug 2000

See all articles by Robert Kaestner

Robert Kaestner

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Abstract

This study uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to investigate the effect of minimum drinking age laws (MDALs) on youth alcohol consumption. Two considerations motivated the analysis. First, results from previous studies provide conflicting evidence of the effect of MDALs on alcohol consumption. Second, all previous studies of the effects of MDALs on alcohol consumption have failed to control for unmeasured time-varying state effects. This study addresses this latter issue by using a difference-in-differences-in-differences (DDD) methodology. The results of this study were mixed. On the one hand, a preponderance of estimates of the effect of MDALs on alcohol consumption are negative, although many are not significantly different from zero. On the other hand, estimates of the effect of MDALs differ by gender and exhibit some variation across samples and methods. In the end, I believe the estimates presented in this article are not sufficient to draw a definitive conclusion and suggest the need for additional research.

JEL Classification: I18

Suggested Citation

Kaestner, Robert, A Note on the Effect of Minimum Drinking Age Laws on Youth Alcohol Consumption. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=234339

Robert Kaestner (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

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