People who consume alcohol earn significantly more
at their jobs than non-drinkers, according to a US study that highlighted
"social capital" gained from drinking.
The study published in the Journal of Labor Research Thursday concluded
that drinkers earn 10 to 14 percent more than teetotalers, and that men who drink socially
bring home an additional seven percent in pay.
"Social drinking builds social capital," said Edward Stringham, an
economics professor at San Jose State University and co-author of the
study with fellow researcher Bethany Peters.
"Social drinkers are out networking, building relationships, and adding
contacts to their
BlackBerries that result in
The authors acknowledged their study, funded by the Reason Foundation,
contradicted research released in 2000 by the Harvard School of Public
"We created our hypothesis through casual observation and examination
of scholarly accounts," the authors said.
"Drinkers typically tend to be more social than abstainers."
The researchers said their empirical survey backed up the theory, and
said the most likely explanation is that drinkers have a wider range of
social contacts that help provide better job and business opportunities.
"Drinkers may be able to socialize more with clients and co-workers,
giving drinkers an advantage in important relationships," the researchers
"Drinking may also provide individuals with opportunities to learn
people, business, and social skills."
They also said these conclusions provide arguments against policies
aimed at curbing alcohol use on university campuses and public venues.
"Not only do anti-alcohol policies reduce drinkers' fun, but they may
also decrease earnings," the study said.