Abstaining from alcohol and labour market underperformance - Have we forgotten the 'dry' alcoholics?

Edvard Johansson, Hannu Alho, Urpo Kiiskinen, Kari Poikolainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: To investigate whether abstainers fare worse than non-abstainers on the labour market because a subset of the abstainers are ex-drinkers with alcohol problems. Methods: In the cross-sectional population survey ‘health 2000 in Finland’ (n = 10 000) carried out in 2000, alcohol dependency was measured using the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence. The CIDI (composite international diagnostic interview) was applied to ascertain lifetime DSM-IV diagnoses for substance abuse diagnoses, including alcohol dependence. Individuals were considered to be employed if they were working part-time or full-time. Results: Male abstainers have on average 9.5 percentage points lower employment probability than non-abstainers. However, abstainers who have never drunk alcohol do not have lower employment probability than non-abstainers. Abstainers who are diagnosed as alcohol dependent have 27 percentage points lower employment probability than non-abstainers. Conclusion: The underperformance of abstainers in a labour market sense is almost entirely due to the fact that some abstainers are ex-drinkers who in our study are identified as alcohol-dependent. Otherwise abstaining does not decrease employment probability.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Volume41
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)574-579
Number of pages6
ISSN0735-0414
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 09.2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 511 Economics
  • alcohol dependence
  • ethanol
  • alcohol intoxication
  • substance abuse
  • employment
  • Finland
  • Labour market
  • diagnostic and statistical manual,
  • alcoholics

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