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Health Econ. 1997 Sep-Oct;6(5):533-7.

Women and work: tipplers and teetotalers.


We seek to understand better the puzzling finding that, for women, alcoholism appears to be positively associated with the probability of being employed. Using the 1988 Alcohol Survey of the National Health Interview Survey, we find that this association holds for white women only. For white women, alcoholism and early drinking are associated with higher educational attainment, a smaller family size and a lower probability of being married. In turn, these human capital indicators are associated with greater labour supply, thus helping to explain the curious positive relationship between alcoholism and employment for women. An advance in this paper over our previous work is to examine life-time abstention from alcohol and its association with employment and human capital variables. We find that lifetime abstention is associated with lower employment, unemployment and education and greater propensity to be married for both white and non-white women.

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