“No Booze? You May Lose: Why Drinkers Earn More Money Than Nondrinkers” Bethany L. Peters and Edward Stringham, Journal of Labor Research, vol. 27, no. 3, Summer 2006, pp. 411–21(http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12122-006-1031-y).
(Thanks to Kristine Danowski for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, who are respectively at Analysis Group, Dallas, Texas and at San Jose State University, San Jose, California, explain that:
A number of theorists assume that drinking has harmful economic effects, but data show that drinking and earnings are positively correlated. We hypothesize that drinking leads to higher earnings by increasing social capital…. We find that males who frequent bars at least once per month earn an additional 7 percent on top of the 10 percent drinkers’ premium. These results suggest that social drinking leads to increased social capital.
(That’s an except from the article “Soft Is Hard,” Published in AIR 13:4.)