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Drinking is Different! Examining the Role of Locus of Control for Alcohol Consumption

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  • Marco Caliendo

    (University of Potsdam, IZA Bonn, DIW Berlin, IAB Nuremberg)

  • Juliane Hennecke

    (Auckland University of Technology, IZA Bonn)

Abstract

Unhealthy behavior can be extremely costly from a micro- and macroeconomic perspective and exploring the determinants of such behavior is highly important from an economist’s point of view. We examine whether locus of control (LOC) can explain alcohol consumption as an important domain of health behavior. LOC measures how much an individual believes that she is in control of the consequences of her own actions for her life’s future outcomes. While earlier literature showed that an increasing internal LOC is associated with increased health-conscious behavior in domains such as smoking, exercise or diets, we find that drinking seems to be different. Using German panel data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) we find a significant positive effect of having an internal LOC on the probability of moderate and regular drinking. We suggest and discuss two likely mechanisms for this relationship and find interesting gender differences. While social investments play an important role for both men and women, risk perceptions are especially relevant for men.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Caliendo & Juliane Hennecke, 2020. "Drinking is Different! Examining the Role of Locus of Control for Alcohol Consumption," CEPA Discussion Papers 18, Center for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:pot:cepadp:18
    DOI: 10.25932/publishup-46979
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    locus of control; alcohol consumption; health behavior; risk perception; social investment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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