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psc brown bag iconDoes Staying in School (and not Working) Help Prevent Teen Drinking and Smoking?

Adriana Lleras-Muney (Economics Department, University of California - Los Angeles)

02/14/2011, at noon in room 6050 ISR-Thompson.

Previous work suggests but cannot prove that education improves health behaviors. We exploit a randomized intervention that increased schooling (and reduced working) among male students in the Dominican Republic, by providing information on the returns to schooling. We find that treated youths were much less likely to smoke at age 18 and had delayed onset of heavy drinking. The effects appear to be due to changes in peer networks and disposable income, rather than any direct impact of schooling on rates of time preference, attitudes towards risk, or
perceptions that drinking or smoking are harmful to health.


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