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Alcohol Abuse, Alcoholism, and Labor Market Outcomes: Looking for the Missing Link

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  • Francesco Renna
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    Abstract

    There is puzzling evidence that alcohol abuse and alcoholism reduce labor earnings but have no effect on either hours worked or the hourly wage. This study revisits the link between problem drinking and earnings using data from the 1989 and 1994 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Questions about problem drinking were keyed to a table of symptoms for alcohol abuse and alcoholism in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The author finds no effects associated with alcohol abuse. In OLS regressions, alcoholism appears to have had negative effects on both labor market outcomes. In the lag variable and in the first difference regressions, alcoholism’s negative effect on wages disappears, but its negative effect on hours of work remains, suggesting that the negative effect of alcoholism on earnings operates through reduced work hours. These results of the two-stage least squares are inconclusive.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 62 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (October)
    Pages: 92-103

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:62:y:2008:i:1:p:92-103

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    Cited by:
    1. Jason M. Lindo & Isaac D. Swensen & Glen R. Waddell, 2011. "Alcohol and Student Performance: Estimating the Effect of Legal Access," NBER Working Papers 17637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Chatterji, Pinka & Alegria, Margarita & Takeuchi, David, 2011. "Psychiatric disorders and labor market outcomes: Evidence from the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 858-868.
    3. Bellou, Andriana & Bhatt, Rachana, 2012. "Reducing Underage Alcohol and Tobacco Use: Evidence from the Introduction of Vertical Identification Cards," IZA Discussion Papers 6951, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Sarah Grace See, 2013. "The Riskiest of Them All: Parental Supervision and Adolescent Behaviors," CHILD Working Papers Series, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA 21, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    5. Andrew Sharpe & Alexander Murray, 2011. "State of the Evidence on Health as a Determinant of Productivity," CSLS Research Reports, Centre for the Study of Living Standards 2011-04, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.

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