Social Animal House: The Economic and Academic Consequences of Fraternity Membership

14 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2018

See all articles by Jack Mara

Jack Mara

10 Thoughts

Lewis Davis

Union College - Department of Economics

Stephen Schmidt

Union College - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

We exploit changes in the residential and social environment on campus to identify the economic and academic consequences of fraternity membership at a small Northeastern college. Our estimates suggest that these consequences are large, with fraternity membership lowering student grade point average by approximately 0.25 points on the traditional 4‐point scale, but raising future income by approximately 36%, for those students whose decision about membership is affected by changes in the environment. These results suggest that fraternity membership causally produces large gains in social capital, which more than outweigh its negative effects on human capital for potential members. Alcohol‐related behavior does not explain much of the effects of fraternity membership on either the human capital or social capital effects. These findings suggest that college administrators face significant trade‐offs when crafting policies related to Greek life on campus.

JEL Classification: I23, J24, I12

Suggested Citation

Mara, Jack and Davis, Lewis S. and Schmidt, Stephen, Social Animal House: The Economic and Academic Consequences of Fraternity Membership (April 2018). Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 36, Issue 2, pp. 263-276, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3127872 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/coep.12249

Jack Mara (Contact Author)

10 Thoughts ( email )

Boston, MA
United States

Lewis S. Davis

Union College - Department of Economics ( email )

Schenectady, NY 12308-3107
United States

Stephen Schmidt

Union College - Department of Economics ( email )

Schenectady, NY 12308-3107
United States
518-388-6078 (Phone)
518-388-6988 (Fax)

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