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J Health Econ. 1993 Dec;12(4):411-29.

Drinking and schooling.

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  • 1Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708.


We employ the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data to explore the effect of youthful drinking on years of schooling and on the likelihood of college graduation. Our instruments for youthful drinking include the state beer tax and the minimum purchase age. Reduced form equations are also estimated. Our results indicate that heavy drinking in high school reduces the average number of years of schooling completed following high school. Other things equal, students who spend their high school years in states with relatively high taxes and minimum age are more likely to graduate from college.

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