Out of Control Policy Blog

Teetotalersí world rocked yet again

We've know about the health benefits of moderate drinking for quite some time. Then came a Reason study that finds that drinkers (and not just moderate ones) earn more than abstainers. Now this:

    [R]esearchers at Harvard and South Florida University have found that teenage males who binge drink earn more as adults.

    After correcting for factors like drug use or dysfunctional family backgrounds, the researchers found that male teenage binge-drinkers earned on average 6% more than non-bingers as adults.

    Pinka Chatterji, of Harvard, and Jeffrey DeSimone, of South Florida, analysed an American survey that had followed over 12,000 students from 1988, tracking them from their teenage years into adulthood.

Not so fast to the keg-stand line, ladies:

    Sadly for binge drinking girls, there's no benefit to them from binge drinking, as it doesn't seem to affect their wages or job prospects in later life at all.

Now for the question of why:

    Chatterji and DeSimone aren't sure why getting wazzocked as a teenager helps men get better pay over a decade later – but they suspect that it has something to do with social tendencies that lead teens to binge drink also being useful in the workplace.

    'Our theory is that some difficult-to-measure trait, such as having good social skills and being popular among peers, underlies this association,' say the researchers.

More here.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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