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Title: Alcohol Consumption and Productivity
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Peters, Bethany Lynn
Alcohol Consumption and Productivity
Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 2002. DAI-A 63/09, p. 3293, Mar 2003
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Sage Publications
Keyword(s): Alcohol Use; Earnings; Endogeneity; Labor Market Outcomes; Modeling, Fixed Effects; Social Roles; Wage Models

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

My research documents the relationship between drinking and earnings with two different data sets and populations, and then investigates the possibility that the association is due to a direct causal connection through the mechanism of social capital. I document the positive relationship of drinking and earnings for a population of military personnel by use of the Worldwide Survey of Alcohol and Non-Medical Drug Use. I consistently find that abstainers earn less than drinkers, even when controlling for the endogeneity of the drinking decision. I then turn to the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which has had drinking items for eight waves between 1982 and 1994. The NLSY data are very rich, providing data necessary to control for religion, ethnicity; family background, personality type, aptitude, local labor market conditions, a cumulative measure of work experience, and much else. I find that the wage premium for drinkers is quite robust for both male and female full-time workers. Further evidence about the nature of this relationship is obtained from estimates that take advantage of the panel structure and include individual fixed effects. In those estimates the estimated effect of drinking on earnings disappears, suggesting that the year-to-year variations in drinking status (for those individuals who do vary) are not associated with earnings. But those who self-report drinking in every wave of the survey earn substantially more than those who always report abstaining or who vary over time. These results suggest that if there is an effect of drinking on earnings, it is cumulative rather than contemporaneous. One interesting possibility is that the cumulative effect occurs through social capital accumulation. Personal connections and reputation are important in the labor market. Individuals who conform to the social environment will have better job opportunities because they will have more of those connections. Since drinking is the social lubricant, abstainers may lose out, especially in wet environments. I test this hypothesis by interacting individual drinking with measures of drinking in the relevant environment. I find that drinking is beneficial to wages for men only in states with a relatively high drinking prevalence.
Bibliography Citation
Peters, Bethany Lynn. Alcohol Consumption and Productivity. Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 2002. DAI-A 63/09, p. 3293, Mar 2003.