Greek Life, Academics, and Earnings

47 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2018

See all articles by William E. Even

William E. Even

Miami University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Austin Smith

Miami University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 28, 2018


Using records from a large public university, we examine the impact of Greek life on academic performance and salaries. To isolate the causal effect of Greek life, we exploit a university policy prohibiting students from joining a Greek organization during their first semester and a minimum GPA for subsequent eligibility. Regression discontinuity and panel methods reveal that Greek affiliation reduces student grades by 0.1-0.3 standard deviations. Greek effects are largest during the semester of pledging, semesters of increased social activities, and for males. We find no evidence of a Greek salary premium and rule out even modest positive effects.

Keywords: Higher Education, Fraternity, Sorority, Grades, Starting Salary

JEL Classification: I23

Suggested Citation

Even, William E. and Smith, Austin, Greek Life, Academics, and Earnings (September 28, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

William E. Even

Miami University ( email )

208 Laws Hall
Oxford, OH 45056
United States
513-529-2865 (Phone)
513-529-6992 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Austin Smith (Contact Author)

Miami University ( email )

Oxford, OH 45056
United States

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