We estimate the effect of alcohol consumption on mortality using
the minimum drinking age in a regression discontinuity design. We
find large and immediate increases in drinking at age 21, including
a 21 percent increase in recent drinking days. We also find a
discrete 9 percent increase in the mortality rate at age 21, primarily
due to motor vehicle accidents, alcohol-related deaths, and suicides.
We estimate a 10 percent increase in the number of drinking days
for young adults results in a 4.3 percent increase in mortality. Our
results suggest policies that reduce drinking among young adults
can have substantial public health benefits. (JEL I12, I18)
Carpenter, Christopher, and Carlos Dobkin.
"The Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Mortality: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from the Minimum Drinking Age."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health