This paper looks at an important topic: how students consumption of alcohol affects their academic performance. That there is a negative effect is a matter for concern although it is not very surpising.
Does Drinking Impair College Performance? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach
Mark L. Hoekstra,Scott Carrell,James West
This paper examines the effect of alcohol consumption on student achievement by exploiting the discontinuity in drinking at age 21 at a college in which the minimum legal drinking age is strictly enforced. We find that drinking causes significant reductions in academic performance, particularly for the highest-performing students. This suggests that the negative consequences of alcohol consumption extend beyond the narrow segment of the population at risk of more severe, low-frequency, outcomes. Thus, our results indicate policies that combat drinking—particularly binge drinking that occurs around age 21—may well have large positive effects that are broader than previously known.