This article develops and estimates a model of wage determination that isolates the effects of alcohol use on wages as mediated through human capital accumulation. Although generally insignificant, estimation results suggest that moderate alcohol use while in school or working has a positive effect on the returns to education or experience, and therefore on human capital accumulation, but heavier drinking reduces this gain slightly. Based on these results, alcohol use does not appear to adversely affect returns to education or work experience and therefore has no negative effect on the efficiency of education or experience in forming human capital.
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