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Spring Symposium on UR and Community Engagement has ended
Tuesday, April 24 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
Alcohol and Tobacco Consumption: Effects on Wages in the Food and Beverage Service industry of Asheville, North Carolina 

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Wages in the service industry vary widely based on position and portion of income that is tip-reliant. Beyond this, wages are based on personal characteristics, such as work ethic, habits, and communication skills, especially within the pool of tipped workers. This study provides insights into the question of the influence that alcohol and tobacco have on the average hourly wages in the service industry. A hedonic wage study uses survey research to uncover bias and endogenize habitual consumption of tobacco and alcohol. More specifically, a regression is used to measure the impact of tobacco and alcohol on the average hourly wages (including tips) in the Food and Beverage sector of the service industry in Asheville, North Carolina. In order to perform an analysis a wage function of variables that involve the following key characteristics of employees in the food and beverage service industry is used: tobacco usage (including smokeless tobacco), average number of drinks per week, average tip percentage (if a tipped wage), average hours worked weekly, average hours of sleep per night, perceived job satisfaction, and continuing education or not. The data has been collected from a survey distributed to a sample population via social media, asking questions targeting the key variables along with other endogenous vectors that are included to avoid bias. Results support significant correlations between tobacco and alcohol consumption and income. Tobacco has shown to have a negative influence on wages, while alcohol proves to positively influence income. Implications of this study’s findings may influence the actions of tipped individuals in regards to their actions and usage of tobacco and alcohol both inside and outside of the workplace.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
035 Karpen Hall