High School Alcohol Use and Young Adult Labor Market Outcomes

41 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2006 Last revised: 27 Sep 2010

See all articles by Pinka Chatterji

Pinka Chatterji

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jeffrey S. DeSimone

University of Texas at Arlington - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2006

Abstract

We estimate the relationship between 10th grade binge drinking in 1990 and labor market outcomes in 2000 among National Educational Longitudinal Survey respondents. For females, adolescent drinking and adult wages are unrelated, and negative employment effects disappear once academic achievement is held constant. For males, negative employment effects and, more strikingly, positive wage effects persist after controlling for achievement as well as background characteristics, educational attainment, and adult binge drinking and family and job characteristics. Accounting for illegal drug use and other problem behaviors in 10th grade eliminates the unemployment effect, but strengthens the wage effect. As the latter is not explicable by the health, income or social capital justifications that are often used for frequently observed positive correlations between adult alcohol use and earnings, we conjecture that binge drinking conveys unobserved social skills that are rewarded by employers.

Suggested Citation

Chatterji, Pinka and DeSimone, Jeffrey S., High School Alcohol Use and Young Adult Labor Market Outcomes (September 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w12529. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=931374

Pinka Chatterji (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jeffrey S. DeSimone

University of Texas at Arlington - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 19479 UTA
Arlington, TX 76019
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
34
Abstract Views
891
PlumX Metrics