Numerous studies have shown moderate alcohol use can have important health benefits and now a new report finds drinking can help your wallet too.
Drinkers earn 10 to 14 percent more money at their jobs than nondrinkers and men who drink socially, visiting a bar at least once a month, bring home an additional 7 percent in pay, according to a new Reason Foundation report by economists Bethany Peters, Ph.D., and Edward Stringham, Ph.D.
“Social drinking builds social capital,” said Stringham, an economics professor at San Jose State University. “Social drinkers are networking, building relationships, and adding contacts to their Blackberries that result in bigger paychecks.”
The study finds that men who drink earn 10 percent more than abstainers and women drinkers earn 14 percent more than nondrinkers. However, unlike men, who get an additional income boost from drinking in bars, women who frequent bars at least once per month do not show higher earnings than women who do not visit bars.
Not happy with a drinking age of 21, the prohibitionists continue to push public policy in ways which make it more difficult to drink in public places, ranging from drinking restrictions on or near campuses to smoking bans in many cities to ongoing efforts to further pursue drunk drivers — who, in some cases, weren’t even driving. Perhaps a future study of the lifetime earnings of those who drank in college is in order. I’d suggest that those who learn to drink responsibly before they turn 21 probably have a higher earning potential than the non-drinkers.
While Reason‘s Nick Gillespie was on CNBC explaining the study tonight, the television program provided a factoid suggesting that Americans spend $120,000,000,000 per year on alcoholic beverages. This incredible sum of money illustrates that most Americans are at odds with their prohibitionistic policy makers. The authors of the study concluded that rather than discouraging drinking in society, “perhaps we should encourage it.”
I’ll drink to that!
Disclaimer: I engaged in alcohol-related social networking at a bar last night, and Gillespie (thanks, Nick!) bought me a drink. Perhaps both of us can anticipate a payraise soon.