PolySciFi Blog

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I'll drink to that

As you go about your attempt to climb the corporate ladder, you should be aware of two studies that came out this week that indicate one activity that can significantly boost your career earnings.

Getting your drink on.

The first study is summarized in this LAT article,

"Two economists argue in a study to be released today that social drinkers tend to have more charisma, a fatter Rolodex and more friends than those who abstain or drink alone. That garrulousness, they say, translates into higher income — 10% more for men and 14% more for women."

Who wouldn't want a 10% raise? For social drinking no less. But surely if you're getting drunk every night, that has to negatively impact your income. Or perhaps not.
"But no matter how affable the drinker, Peters' and Stringham's analysis
also found that the paycheck boost vanishes after 35 or more drinks per
, a number that surprised Hacker and other public health experts."

Wow. That's a shload. Surely the study must be in error. But an independent study just found the same result.

We estimate the relationship between 10th grade binge drinking in 1990 and
labor market outcomes in 2000 among National Educational Longitudinal Survey
respondents. For females, adolescent drinking and adult wages are unrelated, and
negative employment effects disappear once academic achievement is held
constant. For males, negative employment effects and, more strikingly, positive
wage effects persist after controlling for achievement as well as background
characteristics, educational attainment, and adult binge drinking and family and
job characteristics. Accounting for illegal drug use and other problem behaviors
in 10th grade eliminates the unemployment effect, but strengthens the wage
effect. As the latter is not explicable by the health, income or social capital
justifications that are often used for frequently observed positive correlations
between adult alcohol use and earnings, we conjecture that binge
drinking conveys unobserved social skills that are rewarded by employers.

So what are you doing reading this?

By not being out at a bar right now, you're probably depressing your earnings at least 5%. So go eat, drink, and make money.

Though in all honesty, I'm pretty certain you'll need to be doing it with coworkers to get the requisite networking effects and 35 drinks a week may absorb all of the added income. But you'll still gain the priceless experience of seeing a coworker blow chunks on your boss.


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