Does drinking impair college performance? Evidence from a regression discontinuity approach Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper examines the effect of alcohol consumption on student achievement. To do so, we exploit 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. 2010 Elsevier B.V.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Public Economics

altmetric score

  • 8.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Carrell, S. E., Hoekstra, M., & West, J. E.

citation count

  • 39

complete list of authors

  • Carrell, Scott E||Hoekstra, Mark||West, James E

publication date

  • February 2011