Does alcohol use during high school affect educational attainment?: Evidence from the National Education Longitudinal Study

Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research, Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School, 120 Beacon Street, 4th Floor, Somerville, MA 02143, USA
Economics of Education Review (Impact Factor: 1.07). 10/2006; 25(5):482-497. DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2005.05.005
Source: RePEc


This paper uses data from the National Education Longitudinal Study to estimate the association between high school alcohol use and educational attainment measured around age 26. Initially, the effect of alcohol use on educational attainment is estimated using baseline probit models, which ignore the possibility that unmeasured determinants of alcohol use and educational attainment are correlated. A bivariate probit model is used next to estimate the equations jointly, with alcohol policies as identifying variables. Because these identifying variables are problematic, the bivariate probit model is then re-estimated without any identifying exclusions but with the correlation coefficient fixed at various levels. This part of the analysis allows one to gauge the sensitivity of the estimates to correlation between the unobservable determinants of both outcomes. The results suggest that alcohol use is associated with reductions in educational attainment, but there is little evidence that this association represents a causal relationship.

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    • "Alternative state-or county-level instrumental variables commonly used in the literature include state ethanol/alcohol consumption/sales (French et al., 2008; Mullahy and Sindelar, 1996; Sen, 2002; Terza, 2002), state cigarette tax (Bray, 2005; Mullahy and Sindelar, 1996; Sen, 2002; Terza, 2002), county/state police expenditure per capita, county arrest rate per crime (Averett et al., 2004; Rees et al., 2001; Sen, 2002), and percentage of the state's population living in dry areas (Chatterji, 2006a; Feng et al., 2001; Jones et al., 1999; Kenkel and Ribar, 1994). The assumption that the individual's environment affects his/her drinking behavior motivates the use of instruments such as the percentage of the state's population living in dry areas to examine the impact of drinking on schooling (Chatterji, 2006a) or labor market outcomes (Feng et al., 2001; Kenkel and Ribar, 1994). Based on the assumption that drinking and smoking are complements (Sen, 2002), the state cigarette tax is often used along with the state beer tax to examine the effects of alcohol use on employment or wages (Bray, 2005; Mullahy and Sindelar, 1996; Terza, 2002). "
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    Health Economics 02/2011; 20(2):127-46. DOI:10.1002/hec.1572 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    • "One concern raised in the literature centers on the fact that state-level instruments may be correlated with unobserved determinants of cross-state variation in the outcome variables (Chatterji, 2006; Dee & Evans, 2003; Rashad & Kaestner, 2004). State-specific cultural attributes or social attitudes that lead a state to set higher excise taxes on alcohol might also lead them to implement policies that promote healthy living. "
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    Social Science [?] Medicine 07/2010; 71(1):134-42. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.03.029 · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    • "These results appear for each specification of peer group structure. Quite likely this is due to identification issues from weak exclusion restrictions, similar to that reported in Chatterji (2006) and Grossman et al. (2004). Table 2 Individual-specific marginal effects (Drug use model). "
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    ABSTRACT: Four alternative structures of peer groups are compared in an empirical analysis of teenage dropouts and recent drug use. In general, individual-specific covariates remain robust regardless of group structure specification in dropout models, but lose significance in models of drug-use. Estimates of correlated school effects depend on the specification of group structure. Contextual group effects have no influence on the probability that an individual uses drugs, but demonstrate some statistical significance, albeit ambiguous and strongly dependent on the specification of group structure. Endogenous peer effects do not influence the probability of dropping-out of school, but exhibit positive complementarities with respect to recent drug-use. Modeling the probabilities of leaving school and recent drug-use within a jointly distributed empirical framework indicates that unobserved attributes bridging the two types of behavior demonstrate positive correlation.
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