Fraternity Membership and Drinking Behavior
This paper estimates the impact of fraternity and sorority membership on a wide array of drinking outcomes among respondents to four Harvard College Alcohol Study surveys from 1993-2001. Identification is achieved by including proxies for specific types of unobserved heterogeneity expected to influence the relationship. These include high school and parental drinking behaviors to account for time-invariant omitted factors, and assessed importance of drinking-related activities and reasons for drinking to control for changes in preferences since starting college. Self-selection is quantitatively important. But even controlling for variables plausibly affected by fraternity membership, such as current alcohol use categorization (from abstainer to heavy drinker) and time spent socializing, fraternity membership has a large impact on drinking intensity, frequency and recency, as well as various negative drinking consequences that potentially carry negative externalities.
I thank participants in several informal conversations at the 2007 AEA meetings and economics department seminars at Tulane University and the Universities of Nebraska and Texas at Arlington for helpful comments. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
DeSimone, Jeff, Fraternity Membership and Drinking Behavior. Economic Inquiry, Vol. 47, No. 2, pp. 337-350, April 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1393933 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2008.00121.x citation courtesy of