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Alcohol and Student Performance: Estimating the Effect of Legal Access

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Author Info

  • Lindo, Jason M.

    ()
    (Texas A&M University)

  • Swensen, Isaac D.

    ()
    (University of Oregon)

  • Waddell, Glen R.

    ()
    (University of Oregon)

Abstract

We consider the effect of legal access to alcohol, which is known to increase drinking behavior, on academic performance. We first estimate the effect using an RD design but argue that this approach is not well-suited to the research question in our setting. Our preferred approach instead exploits the longitudinal nature of the data, essentially identifying the effect by comparing a student's academic performance before and after turning 21. We find that students' grades fall below their expected levels upon being able to drink legally, but by less than previously documented. We also show that there are effects on women and that the effects are persistent. The main results are robust to the inclusion of individual fixed effects, individual trends, and individual quadratics, in addition to other controls, that account for the expected evolution of performance as students make progress towards their degrees.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5525.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Health Economics, 2013, 32 (1), 22–32
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5525

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Keywords: minimum legal drinking age; post-secondary education; alcohol;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jason M. Lindo & Isaac D. Swensen & Glen R. Waddell, 2012. "Are Big-Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 254-74, October.
  2. Lindo, Jason M. & Swensen, Isaac D. & Waddell, Glen R., 2011. "Alcohol and Student Performance: Estimating the Effect of Legal Access," IZA Discussion Papers 5525, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Lindo, Jason M. & Siminski, Peter & Yerokhin, Oleg, 2014. "Breaking the Link Between Legal Access to Alcohol and Motor Vehicle Accidents: Evidence from New South Wales," IZA Discussion Papers 7930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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