The study uses a mathematical model to suggest that lowering the drinking age would not reduce binge drinking. However, there are significant problems with the study and its conclusion:
- The study is purely theoretical, not empirical.
- The only empirical data considered is current self-reported survey data where the drinking age is 21, which may be biased, and levels of enforcement in various colleges.
- The definition of "heavy episodic drinking" is questionable in the absence of context.
- The study modeled a change in the drinking age to 19, not 18.
- The study only looked at two variables--"misperception" (social norms) and "wetness" (availability/enforcement).
- Most campuses are actually very "wet" in practice.
- Variables such as the dangerous effects of forcing alcohol underground are not considered.
- Consequences of drinking were not considered.
We at Twenty-One Debunked also find it rather funny that the authors of the study said that lowering the drinking age to 18 would be a "radical social experiment," when in fact, the current drinking age of 21 is the real radical social experiment, both internationally and in terms of our nation's own history. And a failed one nonetheless.