Economics at your fingertips  

The Effect of Alcohol Access on Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Evidence From the Minimum Legal Drinking Age

Vijetha Koppa
Additional contact information
Vijetha Koppa: Department of Economics and Finance, Stephen F. Austin State University. The findings of this paper reflect the views of the author alone and not of any other organization Author email:

American Journal of Health Economics, 2018, vol. 4, issue 2, 164-184

Abstract: This paper evaluates the effect of alcohol use on the spread of sexually transmitted diseases by exploiting the discrete change in legal access to alcohol at the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years. With administrative data from California, I implement a regression discontinuity model to compare the number of gonorrhea cases in men—an infection with a short incubation period of two weeks or less—contracted just before and after the 21st birthday. Results show no evidence of an increase in STDs in the overall population, or within racial and county subgroups with the highest infection rates. These results suggest that the relationship between alcohol and STDs, which is conventionally believed to be causal, is more likely to be driven by unobserved heterogeneity, at least among the college-age population.

Keywords: alcohol; minimum legal drinking age; sexually transmitted diseases (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)
Access to PDF is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in American Journal of Health Economics from University of Chicago Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Journals Division ().

Page updated 2019-11-16
Handle: RePEc:ucp:amjhec:v:4:y:2018:i:2:p:164-184