Simon Burgess and Carol Propper
Published February 1998
This paper uses evidence from the US to examine the impact of adolescent illegal consumption and violent behaviour on later life chances. Specifically, we look at the effect of such behaviour by young men in late adolscence on productivity and household formation ten years on. We find that alcohol and soft drug consumption have no harmful effects on economic prospects in later life. In contrast, hard drug consumption and violent behaviour in adolescence are both associated with lower productivity even by the time the individuals are in their late twenties. These effects are substantial and affect earnings levels and earnings growth. These results are robust to the inclusion of a rich set of additional controls measuring aspects of the individuals' backgrounds. However, we find no evidence of any of these behaviours significantly affecting household formation.