Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 1265–1286 | Cite as

Peer influences on adolescent alcohol consumption: evidence using an instrumental variables/fixed effect approach

  • Jason M. FletcherEmail author
Original Paper


In order to address empirical difficulties in research examining peer effects in alcohol consumption, I use instrumental variables/fixed effects methodology that compares students in different grades within the same school who face a different set of classmate decisions. Within this context, I suggest that alcohol availability in classmates’ homes and classmates’ parents’ alcohol abuse can be used as instruments. Results indicate that a 10% increase in the proportion of classmates who drink increases the likelihood an individual drinks by five percentage points. This paper also provides evidence of peer effects in problem drinking, such as binge drinking and drunkenness.


Peer effects Social interactions Alcohol consumption 

JEL Classification

I12 I20 



The author thanks two anonymous reviewers, Kitt Carpenter, Jeff DeSimone, Andrew Francis, David Frisvold, Dave Marcotte, Sara Markowitz, and seminar participants at Emory University, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and the 2008 Southern Economic Association Meetings for very helpful comments.

Supplementary material

148_2011_365_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (197 kb)
(PDF 197 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Health Policy and AdministrationYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society ScholarColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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