Minimum Legal Drinking Age Analysis

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The article from Journal of Health Economics introduces the impact of minimum legal drinking age laws on alcohol consumption, smoking, and marijuana use. The abuse of alcohol is coming with healthy issue and some considerable spillover effects such as risky behavior, criminal activity, and alcohol related traffic injuries and fatalities. The regulation on alcohol availability in the lower the minimum legal drinking age from 21. The opponents of the MLDA of 21 argue that the age limit encourages young adults under age 21 to consume alcohol in an irresponsible manner and that lowering age would help young adults to learn how to drink gradually, safely. Many studies have investigated the effect of the MLDA law on alcohol consumption. However,…show more content…
And comparing outcomes across youths with similar income, educational levels, and other observed individual characteristic, but significant different levels of alcohol use. As the result, young adults just over 21 tend to increase their alcohol consumption more evenly by drinking on more days but consuming much less alcohol on drinking days, this effect is insignificant. The result indicates that the effect of MLDA on alcohol consumption among teens is not persistent in the long run. And after 21st birthday, the average number of drinks consumed per day starts to decrease immediately. The estimate also determines the relationship between alcohol consumption and smoking and marijuana use which complements the existing literature. According to the output, MLDA of age 21 to reduce drinking among young adults may have desirable impacts and can create public health…show more content…
Most of these studies have investigated of the changes in the MLDA that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s at the state level. However, there might be some selection biases the research faces, since states where a lower MLDA was imposed might be different in unobserved ways than those states where the MLDA of 21 was enforced. There are some unobserved characteristics that are correlated with drinking behavior such that state level alcohol consumption trends may also be associated with the MLDA law itself. If these unobserved biases at the state level are correlated with drinking behavior, then we cannot directly estimate a consistent effect of the MLDA on alcohol consumption by employing the simple changes of the MLDA law at the state level. The random discontinuity approach used in this paper alleviates this shortcoming by removing the bias from unobserved policy

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