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)
"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