India Uncut

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Does drinking help your career? Nah...

In an article titled "Does drinking help your career?" Reuters reports on a study that shows that "drinkers make more on average than those that abstain from alcohol." Tipple, tipple, tipple. This is a trivial finding, of no significance other than what lazy newspaper reports sometimes infer from it: that drinking causes you to get ahead in your career.

This is both confusing correlation for causation, and perhaps mixing up cause and effect. Maybe successful people drink more because they can afford more alcohol; maybe they're successful because they network furiously, and this involves some social drinking; maybe this, maybe that, maybe blah, maybe blue: no one's really going to know for sure, so take these surveys seriously only at your own peril.

On the other hand, if it's happy hour and you need an excuse...

Update: Bongo P'o'ndit points me to a post of his on the same subject that had made some similar points to mine. He also points me to posts on the subject by Tyler Cowen, Tony Vallencourt and Andrew Gelman.

The boy will go a long way, will young Bongo. Hic.
amit varma, 10:57 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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