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Does problem drinking affect employment? Evidence from England

Author

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  • Ziggy MacDonald

    (Department of Economics, University of Leicester, UK)

  • Michael A. Shields

    (Department of Economics, University of Melbourne, Australia)

Abstract

In this paper, we use data from the Health Survey of England to show that problem drinking is negatively and significantly associated with the probability of being in work, once the endogenous relationship between these outcomes is accounted for. Being a problem drinker leads to a substantial reduction in the probability of working by between 7 and 31%, the former figure being roughly equivalent to the positive effect of having a degree relative to no qualifications in our data. This finding is robust to a variety of identifying restrictions and definitions of problem drinking. Moreover, we find that problem drinking defined by the observed psychological and physical symptoms of alcohol is an important predictor of employment, and allows for the fact that individuals differ in their tolerance or susceptibility to alcohol. Our results suggest that there may be important labour market benefits from public health policies aimed at the prevention and treatment of problem drinking. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Ziggy MacDonald & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Does problem drinking affect employment? Evidence from England," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(2), pages 139-155.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:13:y:2004:i:2:p:139-155 DOI: 10.1002/hec.816
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lindo, Jason M. & Swensen, Isaac D. & Waddell, Glen R., 2013. "Alcohol and student performance: Estimating the effect of legal access," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 22-32.
    2. Morris, Stephen, 2007. "The impact of obesity on employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 413-433, June.
    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 & Margarita Alegría & Mingshan Lu & David Takeuchi, 2007. "Psychiatric disorders and labor market outcomes: evidence from the National Latino and Asian American Study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(10), pages 1069-1090.
    5. Johansson, Edvard & Alho, Hannu & Kiiskinen, Urpo & Poikolainen, Kari, 2004. "Abstaining from Alcohol and Labour Market Underperformance - Have we forgotten the 'dry' alcoholics?," Discussion Papers 931, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    6. Chatterji, Pinka & Alegria, Margarita & Takeuchi, David, 2011. "Psychiatric disorders and labor market outcomes: Evidence from the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 858-868.
    7. Rainer Winkelmann, 2012. "Copula Bivariate Probit Models: With An Application To Medical Expenditures," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(12), pages 1444-1455, December.
    8. Ziebarth, Nicolas R. & Grabka, Markus M., 2009. "In Vino Pecunia? The Association Between Beverage-Specific Drinking Behavior and Wages," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 219-244.
    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. Ana I. Balsa & Michael T. French, 2010. "Alcohol use and the labor market in Uruguay," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(7), pages 833-854.
    11. Edvard Johansson & Hannu Alho & Urpo Kiiskinen & Kari Poikolainen, 2007. "The association of alcohol dependency with employment probability: evidence from the population survey 'Health 2000 in Finland'," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(7), pages 739-754.
    12. Johansson, Edvard & Alho, Hannu & Kiiskinen, Urpo & Poikolainen, Kari, 2004. "The Association of Alcohol Dependency with Employment Probability: Evidence from population survey Health 2000 in Finland," Discussion Papers 921, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    13. Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir & Harpa H. Berndsen & Bryndís Þ. Guðmundsdóttir & Bryndís A. Gunnarsdóttir & Hugrún J. Halldórsdóttir, 2016. "The effect of obesity, alcohol misuse and smoking on employment and hours worked: evidence from the Icelandic economic collapse," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 313-335, June.
    14. Tinna Asgeirsdottir & Kerry McGeary, 2009. "Alcohol and labor supply: the case of Iceland," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 10(4), pages 455-465, October.
    15. Ioana Popovici & Michael T. French, 2013. "Does Unemployment Lead to Greater Alcohol Consumption?," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 444-466, April.
    16. Justus Haucap & Annika Herr, 2014. "A note on social drinking: In Vino Veritas," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 381-392, June.
    17. Haucap, Justus & Herr, Annika & Frank, Björn, 2011. "In vino veritas: Theory and evidence on social drinking," DICE Discussion Papers 37, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    18. Ziggy MacDonald, 2002. "The Employment Prospects of Scottish and English Drug Abusers," Discussion Papers in Economics 02/2, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    19. Au, Pak Hung & Zhang, Jipeng, 2016. "Deal or no deal? The effect of alcohol drinking on bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 70-86.

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