Document Detail


The fatal toll of driving to drink: the effect of minimum legal drinking age evasion on traffic fatalities.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19945186     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
There is a sizeable literature on the effect of minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) restrictions on teenage drunk driving. This paper adds to the literature by examining the effect of MLDA evasion across states with different alcohol restrictions. Using state-of-the-art GIS software and micro-data on fatal vehicle accidents from 1977 to 2002, we find that in counties within 25 miles of a lower-MLDA jurisdiction, a legal restriction on drinking does not reduce youth involvement in fatal accidents and, for 18 and 19-year-old drivers, fatal accident involvement actually increases. Farther from such a border, we find results consistent with the previous literature that MLDA restrictions are effective in reducing accident fatalities. The estimates imply that, of the total reduction in teenager-involved fatalities due to the equalization of state MLDAs at 21 in the 1970s and 1980s, for 18-year olds between a quarter and a third and for 19-year olds over 15 percent was due to equalization. Furthermore, the effect of changes in the MLDA is quite heterogeneous with respect to the fraction of a state's population that need not travel far to cross a border to evade its MLDA. Our results imply the effect of lowering the MLDA in select states, such as has been proposed in Vermont, could lead to sizeable increases in teenage involvement in fatal accidents due to evasion of local alcohol restrictions.
Authors:
Michael F Lovenheim; Joel Slemrod
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2009-10-17
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of health economics     Volume:  29     ISSN:  1879-1646     ISO Abbreviation:  J Health Econ     Publication Date:  2010 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-02-17     Completed Date:  2010-05-03     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8410622     Medline TA:  J Health Econ     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  62-77     Citation Subset:  H    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Affiliation:
Cornell University, Policy Analysis and Management, Ithaca, NY 14853, United States. fl55@cornell.edu
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Accidents, Traffic / mortality*,  prevention & control,  trends
Adolescent
Adult
Age Factors
Alcohol Drinking / legislation & jurisprudence*
Humans
United States / epidemiology
Young Adult

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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