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

37 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2009 Last revised: 9 Sep 2021

See all articles by Robert Kaestner

Robert Kaestner

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

Ben Yarnoff

University of Illinois at Chicago

Date Written: October 2009

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Kaestner, Robert and Kaestner, Robert and Yarnoff, Ben, Long Term Effects of Minimum Legal Drinking Age Laws on Adult Alcohol Use and Driving Fatalities (October 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15439, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1498921

Robert Kaestner (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

5 Hanover Square 16th floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

Ben Yarnoff

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

1200 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60607
United States

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