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Employment, unemployment, and problem drinking

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  • Mullahy, John
  • Sindelar, Jody

Abstract

The misuse of alcoholic beverages ('problem drinking') has been demonstrated to result in enormous economic costs; most of these costs have been shown to be reduced productivity in the labor market. The purpose of this paper is to present sound structural estimates of the relationship between various measures of problem drinking and of employment and unemployment. The sample of approximately 15,000 observations is drawn from the 1988 Alcohol Survey of the National Health Interview Survey, the first dataset that enables nationally- representative estimates of alcohol abuse and dependence consistent with generally accepted medical criteria. The structural estimates of the effects of problem drinking on employment and labor market participation are obtained using methods proposed by Amemiya and by Heckman and MaCurdy. For our sample of males ages 25 to 59, we find that using the instrumental variable approach suggests that the negative impact of problem drinking on employment is even greater than that estimated using the OLS approach. Interestingly, the IV estimates on the samples of females change the sign from a positive impact of problem drinking on employment to a negative impact. Thus although the conclusions drawn from raw data comparisons and OLS regressions differ by gender, the IV estimates are very similar for men and women. For women, the unobserved heterogeneity masks the negative impact of problem drinking on employment when using OLS estimation methods.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 409-434

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:15:y:1996:i:4:p:409-434

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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References

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  1. Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-59, July.
  2. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  3. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mullahy, John & Sindelar, Jody L, 1994. "Do Drinkers Know When to Say When? An Empirical Analysis of Drunk Driving," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(3), pages 383-94, July.
  5. John Mullahy & Jody L. Sindelar, 1995. "Employment, Unemployment, and Problem Drinking," NBER Working Papers 5123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jerry A. Hausman & David A. Wise, 1985. "Technical Problems in Social Experimentation: Cost versus Ease of Analysis," NBER Working Papers 1061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Nelson, C. & Startz, R., 1988. "The Distribution Of The Instrumental Variables Estimator And Its T-Ratio When The Instrument Is A Poor One," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 88-07, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  8. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, December.
  9. White, Halbert, 1982. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Independent Observations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 483-99, March.
  10. Michael Grossman, 1993. "Policy Watch: Alcohol and Cigarette Taxes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 211-222, Fall.
  11. Christopher Ruhm, 1994. "Economic Conditions and Alcohol Problems," NBER Working Papers 4914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  13. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1978. "The Estimation of a Simultaneous Equation Generalized Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1193-1205, September.
  14. Lee Benham & Alexandra Benham, 1982. "Employment, Earnings, and Psychiatric Diagnosis," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 203-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Michael Grossman, 1990. "Health Benefits of Increases in Alcohol and Cigarette Taxes," NBER Working Papers 3082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Suen, Wing & Mo, Pak Hung, 1994. "Simple Analytics of Productive Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 372-83, April.
  17. French, Michael T. & Zarkin, Gary A., 1995. "Is moderate alcohol use related to wages? Evidence from four worksites," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-344, August.
  18. Strauss, John, 1986. "Does Better Nutrition Raise Farm Productivity?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 297-320, April.
  19. Deaton, Angus S & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier & Thomas, Duncan, 1989. "The Influence of Household Composition on Household Expenditure Patterns: Theory and Spanish Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 179-200, February.
  20. Mullahy, John & Sindelar, Jody L, 1993. "Alcoholism, Work, and Income," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 494-520, July.
  21. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 1993. "Drinking and schooling," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 411-429, December.
  22. Henry Saffer & Michael Grossman, 1987. "Beer Taxes, the Legal Drinking Age, and Youth Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 1914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1991. "The Effects of Male and Female Labor Supply on Commodity Demands," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 925-51, July.
  24. James J. Heckman & Thomas E. MaCurdy, 1985. "A Simultaneous Equations Linear Probability Model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 18(1), pages 28-37, February.
  25. Mullahy, John & Sindelar, Jody L, 1991. "Gender Differences in Labor Market Effects of Alcoholism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 161-65, May.
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