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Legal access to alcohol and academic performance: Who is affected?


Economics of Education Review Volume 72, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Previous research finds that legal access to alcohol hinders the academic performance of college students. However, the existing studies differ materially in magnitudes, suggesting a reduction in subsequent grades of either 0.03 or 0.10 standard deviations. One plausible explanation is that the change in alcohol consumption that occurs upon attaining the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) differs across student populations. We test this hypothesis by leveraging predictable variation in adherence to the MLDA across students within the same institution. We find that students with limited underage access to alcohol experience the largest declines in academics upon turning 21, while students with large social networks that likely enable underage consumption experience no effect.


Ha, J.Y. & Smith, A.C. (2019). Legal access to alcohol and academic performance: Who is affected?. Economics of Education Review, 72(1), 19-22. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved December 6, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on June 3, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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