Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 1003–1022 | Cite as

The effect of minimum drinking age laws on pregnancy, fertility, and alcohol consumption

  • Inna Cintina


Analysis of micro-level data reveals that changes in the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) could induce changes in the intensity and location of alcohol consumption, sexual behavior, and teen fertility. Effects on teen fertility vary across different populations. Among 15–20 year-old non-poor whites, less restrictive legal access to alcohol decreases the probability of first pregnancy and abortion. For this group, easier legal access to alcohol likely increases the alcohol consumption in bars. For black and poor white young women, the results are sensitive to the alcohol consumption restrictions measure. A decrease in the MLDA increases the probability of first pregnancy and abortion. Yet, using a more precise measure that accounts for the MLDA and the woman’s age, these results generally no longer hold.


Minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) Pregnancy Fertility Sexual behavior Alcohol consumption Discrete hazard 

JEL Classification

J13 J18 



I sincerely thank Thomas A. Mroz, Paul W. Wilson, Sumner La Croix, Sang-Hyop Lee, Alan Barreca, Michael Sinkey, and Petru S. Stoianovici for their advice and comments.

Supplementary material

11150_2014_9271_MOESM1_ESM.docx (173 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 173 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Hawaii Economic Research OrganizationUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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