The effect of alcohol availability on marijuana use: Evidence from the minimum legal drinking age

Benjamin Crost, Santiago Guerrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper exploits the discontinuity created by the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years to estimate the causal effect of increased alcohol availability on marijuana use. We find that consumption of marijuana decreases sharply at age 21, while consumption of alcohol increases, suggesting that marijuana and alcohol are substitutes. We further find that the substitution effect between alcohol and marijuana is stronger for women than for men. Our results suggest that policies designed to limit alcohol use have the unintended consequence of increasing marijuana use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-121
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Drug use
  • Marijuana
  • Minimum legal drinking age
  • Regression discontinuity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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