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Genetic Variability and Collective Social Norms: The Case of Binge Drinking

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Author Info

  • Shogren, Jason F.

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Finance)

  • Nævdal, Eric

    ()
    (Department of Economics and HERO)

Abstract

This paper explores how collective social norms can have individual-level genetic foundation. Our study is the first we know to report a plausible link between genetically founded individual preferences in a fraction of a population and social norms governing behavior of all individuals. As our motivating example, we focus on patterns of Excessive Drinking in Social Situations (EDSS) across Europe that are possibly triggered by genetically caused variations in personality. The genetic trait is shyness, which correlates with eye color. We present empirical results indicating that alcohol consumption in social situations correlate with eye color and a model which suggests that conditions exist in which EDSS can emerge as a strategy in a larger fraction of the population than is genetically predisposed to EDSS. In addition, our model shows that alcohol taxes may be counter-productive in controlling the emergence of EDSS as a social norm.

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File URL: http://www.hero.uio.no/publicat/2006/HERO2006_7.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme in its series HERO On line Working Paper Series with number 2006:7.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 04 Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:oslohe:2006_007

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Postal: HERO / Institute of Health Management and Health Economics P.O. Box 1089 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 2307 5309
Fax: 2307 5310
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Web page: http://www.hero.uio.no/eng.html
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Related research

Keywords: Excessive Drinking in Social Situations (EDSS); drinking behavior; genetically founded individual preferences; sosial norms;

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