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The Effects of Stepwise Minimum Legal Drinking Age Legislation on Mortality: Evidence from Germany

Raffael Kamalow () and Thomas Siedler ()
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Raffael Kamalow: University of Hamburg

No 12456, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This study investigates the short-term mortality effects of two age-based restrictions on legal access to alcohol in Germany. We exploit sharp differences in legal access to alcohol at 16 and 18 years by implementing a regression discontinuity design. We find discontinuous increases in deaths at both age cutoffs, which are mainly driven by a "novice driver effect", whereas legal access to alcohol plays a marginal role at most. Overall, our results indicate that a stepwise introduction to alcohol has, at most, a minor impact on drunk driving and mortality at age 16 and 18 years. This study thus provides fresh impetus to the ongoing debate on the "optimal" MLDA legislation.

Keywords: mortality; motor vehicle fatalities; minimum legal drinking age; regression discontinuity design (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 I18 C26 C31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-hea, nep-law and nep-tre
Date: 2019-06
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