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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Health economists have been actively investigating the relationships between substance use and educational achievement/labor market performance outcomes. Although researchers agree on the direction and magnitude of the relationships between substance use and some of these outcomes, many questions remain unanswered. For instance, the literature generally indicates that drug use has a negative impact on most academic outcomes. Less evidence exists, however, of a negative impact of alcohol use on education. Although results suggest that drinking is associated with lower grades, and most research shows that drinking negatively impacts the probability of graduating from high school, several studies have been unable to find significant relationships between alcohol consumption and the number of years of schooling completed. Similarly, although most studies find a wage premium for moderate alcohol users, results on the effect of problem drinking or the use of other drugs on the probability of employment are mixed.

Keywords: substance use, alcohol, other drugs, educational achievement, labor market performance, wages, employment

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