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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeff DeSimone & Amy M. Wolaver, 2005. "Drinking and Academic Performance in High School," NBER Working Papers 11035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11035
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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Dickie, Mark & Gerking, Shelby, 1996. "Formation of Risk Beliefs, Joint Production and Willingness to Pay to Avoid Skin Cancer," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 451-463, August.
    4. Pinka Chatterji, 2006. "Illicit drug use and educational attainment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 489-511.
    5. Pinka Chatterji & Jeff DeSimone, 2005. "Adolescent Drinking and High School Dropout," NBER Working Papers 11337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 1993. "Drinking and schooling," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 411-429, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Philip J. Cook & Bethany Peters, 2005. "The Myth of the Drinker's Bonus," NBER Working Papers 11902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. 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, April.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    4. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2010. "Non-communicable Chronic Diseases in the Americas: An Economic Perspective on Health Policie," Working papers DTE 488, CIDE, División de Economía.
    5. repec:pit:wpaper:356 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Pinka Chatterji & Jeff DeSimone, 2005. "Adolescent Drinking and High School Dropout," NBER Working Papers 11337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Sarah Grace See, 2016. "Parental supervision and adolescent risky behaviors," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 185-206, March.
    8. Vinish Shrestha, 2015. "Estimating the Price Elasticity of Demand for Different Levels of Alcohol Consumption among Young Adults," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 1(2), pages 224-254, Spring.
    9. Zhuang Hao & Benjamin W. Cowan, 2017. "The Effects of Graduation Requirements on Risky Health Behaviors of High School Students," NBER Working Papers 23803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. Xu Lin, 2015. "Utilizing spatial autoregressive models to identify peer effects among adolescents," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 929-960, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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