Alcohol and Student Performance: Estimating the Effect of Legal Access

31 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2011 Last revised: 12 Mar 2021

See all articles by Jason M. Lindo

Jason M. Lindo

Texas A&M University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Isaac D. Swensen

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics

Glen R. Waddell

University of Oregon - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2011

Abstract

We consider the effect of legal access to alcohol on student achievement. We first estimate the effect using an RD design but argue that this approach is not well suited to the research question in our setting. Our preferred approach instead exploits the longitudinal nature of the data, identifying the effect by measuring the extent to which a student's performance changes after he gains legal access to alcohol, controlling flexibly for the expected evolution of grades as students make progress towards their degrees. We find that students' grades fall below their expected levels upon being able to drink legally, but by less than previously documented. We also show that there are effects on women and that the effects are persistent.

Suggested Citation

Lindo, Jason M. and Swensen, Isaac D. and Waddell, Glen R., Alcohol and Student Performance: Estimating the Effect of Legal Access (December 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17637, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1967371

Jason M. Lindo (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University ( email )

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Isaac D. Swensen

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics ( email )

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Glen R. Waddell

University of Oregon - Department of Economics ( email )

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Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

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