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Effects Of Heavy Drinking In College On Study Effort, Grade Point Average, And Major Choice


  • Amy M. Wolaver


This article measures the effects of college drinking on study hours, grade point average (GPA), and major choice using simultaneous equation models and data from the 1993 College Alcohol Study. Binging and intoxication decrease GPA directly and indirectly by reducing study hours. Greater frequency of drinking increases the effect on study hours but not the total effect on GPA. College drinking increases the probability of choosing a business major but decreases the probability of choosing engineering. Simulations show that the effects of heavy drinking on GPA and major choice reduce future weekly earnings by between 0.3 and 9.8%. Copyright 2002 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:20:y:2002:i:4:p:415-428

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeremy W. Bray, 2005. "Alcohol Use, Human Capital, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 279-312, April.
    2. Cowan, Benjamin W., 2011. "Forward-thinking teens: The effects of college costs on adolescent risky behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 813-825, October.
    3. Jeff DeSimone, 2010. "Drinking and academic performance in high school," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(12), pages 1481-1497.
    4. 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.
    5. Renna, Francesco, 2008. "Teens' alcohol consumption and schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 69-78, February.
    6. Ou Yang & Xueyan Zhao & Preety Srivastava, 2016. "Binge Drinking and Antisocial and Unlawful Behaviours in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 92(297), pages 222-240, June.
    7. Jenny Williams, 2005. "Habit formation and college students' demand for alcohol," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 119-134.
    8. Austin, Wesley A. & Totaro, Michael W., 2011. "Gender differences in the effects of Internet usage on high school absenteeism," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 192-198, April.
    9. Michael T. French & Johanna C. Maclean, 2006. "Underage alcohol use, delinquency, and criminal activity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(12), pages 1261-1281.
    10. Joseph J. Sabia, 2010. "Wastin' Away In Margaritaville? New Evidence On The Academic Effects Of Teenage Binge Drinking," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22, January.
    11. Gibbison, Godfrey A. & Henry, Tracyann L. & Perkins-Brown, Jayne, 2011. "The chicken soup effect: The role of recreation and intramural participation in boosting freshman grade point average," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 247-257, April.
    12. Balsa, Ana I. & Giuliano, Laura M. & French, Michael T., 2011. "The effects of alcohol use on academic achievement in high school," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-15, February.

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