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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Want a Raise? Have a Drink

A study being released today by the Reason Foundation (www.reason.org) finds that social drinkers earn more than non-drinkers. When you combine this with dozens of studies that show moderate alcohol consumption offers numerous health benefits, it appears that a couple of drinks each day helps us live longer, wealthier lives.

According to the Reason Foundation report, male drinkers earn 10 percent more and women drinkers 14 percent more money at their jobs than non-drinkers. The report was developed 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 is published in the latest edition of the Journal of Labor Research. The study raises questions about anti-alcohol legislation at state and local levels, and whether these laws might harm local economies and individual finances. The study cited efforts to impose tax increases on alcohol, to restrict alcohol sales through zoning laws and prohibit alcohol advertisements.

"We're quick to ban beer at sports stadiums and festivals. The legal blood alcohol level is dropping everywhere, and we're barraged with overhyped warnings about binge and underage drinking," Stringham said. "Instead of fear mongering we should step back and acknowledge the proven health and economic benefits that come with the responsible use of alcohol."

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