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Drinking and Academic Performance in High School

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  • Jeff DeSimone
  • Amy M. Wolaver

Abstract

We investigate the extent to which negative alcohol use coefficients in GPA regressions reflect unobserved heterogeneity rather than direct effects of drinking, using 2001 and 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data on high school students. Results illustrate that omitted factors are quite important. Drinking coefficient magnitudes fall substantially in regressions that control for risk and time preference, mental health, self-esteem, and consumption of other substances. Moreover, the impact of binge drinking is negligible for students who are less risk averse, heavily discount the future, or use other drugs. However, effects that remain significant after accounting for unobserved heterogeneity and are relatively large for risk averse, future oriented and drug free students suggest that binge drinking might slightly worsen academic performance. Consistent with this, the relationship between grades and drinking without binging is small and insignificant on the extensive margin and positive on the intensive margin.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11035.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11035

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  1. Dickie, M. & Gerking, S.D., 1996. "Formation of risk beliefs, joint production and willingness to pay to avoid skin cancer," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4742868, Tilburg University.
  2. Amy M. Wolaver, 2002. "Effects Of Heavy Drinking In College On Study Effort, Grade Point Average, And Major Choice," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(4), pages 415-428, October.
  3. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 1993. "Drinking and schooling," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 411-429, December.
  4. Tetsuji Yamada & Michael Kendix & Tadashi Yamada, 1993. "The Impact of Alcohol Consumption and Marijuana Use on High School Graduation," NBER Working Papers 4497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. SF Koch & DC Ribar, 2001. "A Siblings Analysis Of The Effects Of Alcohol Consumption Onset On Educational Attainment," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 162-174, 04.
  6. Thomas S. Dee & William N. Evans, 2003. "Teen Drinking and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Two-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 178-209, January.
  7. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 93-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. William N. Evans & Edward Montgomery, 1994. "Education and Health: Where There's Smoke There's an Instrument," NBER Working Papers 4949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jenny Williams & Lisa Powell & Henry Wechsler, 2003. "Does alcohol consumption reduce human capital accumulation? Evidence from the College Alcohol Study," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(10), pages 1227-1239.
  10. Pinka Chatterji, 2003. "Illicit Drug Use and Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 10045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Donata Bessey & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "Marijuana Consumption, Educational Outcomes and Labor Market Success: Evidence from Switzerland," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0043, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  2. Mark L. Hoekstra & Scott Carrell & James West, 2008. "Does Drinking Impair College Performance? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach," Working Papers 356, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2008.
  3. Pinka Chatterji & Jeffrey DeSimone, 2006. "High School Alcohol Use and Young Adult Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Pinka Chatterji & Jeff DeSimone, 2005. "Adolescent Drinking and High School Dropout," NBER Working Papers 11337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Sarah Grace See, 2013. "The Riskiest of Them All: Parental Supervision and Adolescent Behaviors," CHILD Working Papers Series 21, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.

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