…we conjecture that binge drinking conveys unobserved social skills that are rewarded by employers.
Here is the full and very carefully done paper. I’ve known for a while there is a correlation between drinking and wages, but only recently have I started thinking it might be more than a trick in the data. The effect disappears for women, once educational attainment is taken into account. So should you encourage your sons to drink, so as to learn rituals of social bonding, or is their binging simply a signal of sociability? I’ll note, by the way, that I am a not very social person who also doesn’t drink much, verging on not at all.
Addendum: Andrew Gelman has much more to say on the topic.