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Does Drinking Impair College Performance? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach

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  • Scott E. Carrell
  • Mark Hoekstra
  • James E. West

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of alcohol consumption on student achievement. To do so, we exploit the discontinuity in drinking at age 21 at a college in which the minimum legal drinking age is strictly enforced. We find that drinking causes significant reductions in academic performance, particularly for the highest-performing students. This suggests that the negative consequences of alcohol consumption extend beyond the narrow segment of the population at risk of more severe, low-frequency, outcomes.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16330.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16330.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Publication status: published as Carrell, Scott E. & Hoekstra, Mark & West, James E., 2011. "Does drinking impair college performance? Evidence from a regression discontinuity approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 54-62, February.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16330

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  1. Scott E. Carrell & James E. West, 2008. "Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors," NBER Working Papers 14081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dave, Dhaval & Kaestner, Robert, 2002. "Alcohol taxes and labor market outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 357-371, May.
  3. Christopher Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin, 2007. "The Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Mortality: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from the Minimum Drinking Age," NBER Working Papers 13374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jeffrey A. Miron & Elina Tetelbaum, 2007. "Does the Minimum Legal Drinking Age Save Lives?," NBER Working Papers 13257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Thomas S. Dee, 2001. "The Effects of Minimum Legal Drinking Ages on Teen Childbearing," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(4), pages 823-838.
  6. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bisakha Sen, 2003. "Can Beer Taxes Affect Teen Pregnancy? Evidence Based on Teen Abortion Rates and Birth Rates," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 328-343, October.
  8. Dee, Thomas S., 1999. "State alcohol policies, teen drinking and traffic fatalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 289-315, May.
  9. Jeff DeSimone & Amy M. Wolaver, 2005. "Drinking and Academic Performance in High School," NBER Working Papers 11035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Fertig, Angela R. & Watson, Tara, 2009. "Minimum drinking age laws and infant health outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 737-747, May.
  11. Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Wechsler, 1996. "Binge Drinking In College: The Impact Of Price, Availability, And Alcohol Control Policies," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(4), pages 112-124, October.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Does Drinking Impair College Performance?
    by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-03-15 08:54:55
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Cited by:
  1. Peralta, Maria Alexandra & Swinton, Scott M. & Maredia, Mywish K., 2011. "Accounting for selection bias in impact analysis of a rural development program: An application using propensity score matching," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126398, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  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. Eisenberg, Daniel & Golberstein, Ezra & Whitlock, Janis L., 2014. "Peer effects on risky behaviors: New evidence from college roommate assignments," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 126-138.
  4. 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).
  5. Di Pietro, Giorgio, 2012. "The Short-Term Effectiveness of a Remedial Mathematics Course: Evidence from a UK University," IZA Discussion Papers 6358, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. Marcus, Jan & Siedler, Thomas, 2013. "Reducing binge drinking? The effect of a ban on late-night off-premise alcohol sales on alcohol-related hospital stays in Germany," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79917, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  8. Ertan Yörük, Ceren & Yörük, Barış K., 2012. "The impact of drinking on psychological well-being: Evidence from minimum drinking age laws in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(10), pages 1844-1854.
  9. Ceren Ertan Yoruk & Baris Yoruk, 2013. "Alcohol Consumption and Risky Sexual Behavior Among Young Adults: Evidence from Minimum Legal Drinking Age Laws," Discussion Papers 13-11, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  10. Jeffrey S. Smith & James E. West, 2012. "Retirement Pay and Officer Retention," NBER Working Papers 18502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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