Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Does Unemployment Lead to Greater Alcohol Consumption?

an article by Ioana Popovici (Nova Southeastern University, USA) and Michael T. French (University of Miami, USA) published in Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society Volume 52 Issue 2 (April 2013)


Using panel data from Waves 1 and 2 of the NESARC {National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions}, we estimate gender-specific effects of changes in employment status on overall alcohol consumption, binge-drinking episodes, and a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and/or dependence.

We employ various fixed-effects models to address potential bias from unobserved and time-invariant individual heterogeneity.

All results show a positive and significant effect of unemployment on drinking behaviours, and the findings are robust to numerous sensitivity tests. Perhaps, macroeconomic policy decisions intended to stimulate the economy during economic downturns should also consider the avoided personal costs and externalities associated with alcohol misuse.

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