IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Adolescent Drug Use and Educational Attainment

  • Charles Register
  • Donald Williams
  • Paul Grimes

Recent studies investigating the labor-market effects of illicit drug use have consistently found a positive relation between drug use and earnings. These analyses have, however, ignored the potential relationship between drug use and human-capital formation. This paper examines the effect of drug use during adolescence on formal educational attainment using a sample drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey Youth Cohort. The probability of drug use is estimated across racial groups according to three categories; use of any illicit drug, use including hard drugs, and use of only marijuana. Fitted values for the probability of drug use are calculated and entered into a regression framework to estimate the number of school years completed. The empirical results indicate that all three categories of drug use are associated with significant negative impacts on educational attainment after controlling for individual differences in personal endowments and socioeconomic characteristics. On average, adolescent drug use is found to reduce eventual educational attainment by about 1 year, ceteris paribus . These findings suggest that previous studies that focus only on the direct effects of drug use on earnings may reflect a statistical bias that leads to an overstatement of the positive effects of drug use on earnings.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Education Economics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-18

in new window

Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:9:y:2001:i:1:p:1-18
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:9:y:2001:i:1:p:1-18. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.