Is moderate alcohol use related to wages? Evidence from four worksites

Michael French, Gary A. Zarkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

105 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Moderate alcohol users (approximately two drinks per day on average) have recently been shown to have a lower risk of coronary heart disease relative to abstainers and heavy drinkers. Conversely, a few studies have found that alcoholism is associated with greater unemployment and lower earnings. But, little research has examined the differential effects of drinking levels on job compensation. We utilize a newly created database on employees at four worksites to test for a nonlinear relationship between alcohol use and wages. We also examine whether alcohol use affects wages indirectly through educational achievement, marital status, and poor health. Our findings suggest an inverse U-shaped relationship between alcohol consumption and wages with a peak at approximately 1.5 to 2.5 drinks per day on average. Thus, controlling for other variables and conditional on working, moderate alcohol users have higher wages than abstainers and heavy drinkers at these worksites. We also find evidence that alcohol use is related to wages through human capital variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-344
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Salaries and Fringe Benefits
Workplace
Alcohols
Epidemiologic Effect Modifiers
Educational Status
Unemployment
Marital Status
Compensation and Redress
Alcohol Drinking
Alcoholism
Drinking
Coronary Disease
Economics
Alcohol use
Wages
Databases
Health
Research
Drinks
Alcohol

Keywords

  • Alcohol use
  • Alcoholism
  • Wages
  • Workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

Is moderate alcohol use related to wages? Evidence from four worksites. / French, Michael; Zarkin, Gary A.

In: Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 14, No. 3, 1995, p. 319-344.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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