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Why Do Some Irish Drink So Much? Family, Historical and Regional Effects on Students' Alcohol Consumption and Subjective Normative Thresholds

Listed author(s):
  • Smith, James P.
  • Delaney, Liam
  • Kapteyn, Arie

This paper studies determinants of drinking behavior and formation of subjective thresholds of acceptable drinking behavior using a sample of students in a major Irish University. It finds evidence of strong associations between amounts of alcohol students consume and drinking of their fathers and older siblings. In contrast, it finds little evidence of impacts of other non-drinking aspects of family background on students’ drinking. Parental and older sibling drinking appears to affect subjective attitudes of students towards what constitutes problem drinking behavior. It investigated historical origins of drinking behavior including the role of the Church, English cultural influences, the importance of the brewery and distilling industry, and the influence of weather. It finds relatively strong influences of the Catholic Church and English colonial settlement patterns on Irish drinking patterns but little influence of Irish weather. Historical licensing restrictions on the number of pubs and off-license establishments also appear to matter.

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Paper provided by RAND Corporation in its series Working Papers with number 869.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:869
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  1. Arthur Van Soest & Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon & Arie Kapteyn & James P. Smith, 2007. "Validating the Use of Vignettes for Subjective Threshold Scales," Working Papers 200714, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  2. Lundborg, Petter, 2006. "Having the wrong friends? Peer effects in adolescent substance use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 214-233, March.
  3. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Bert Van Landeghem, 2009. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 528-538, 04-05.
  4. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother's Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532.
  5. Kooreman, P., 2007. "Time, money, peers, and parents : Some data and theories on teenage behavior," Other publications TiSEM 05026f0a-e418-4eb8-a483-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  6. Fabrice Etilé, 2007. "Social norms, ideal body weight and food attitudes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(9), pages 945-966.
  7. Peter Kooreman, 2007. "Time, money, peers, and parents; some data and theories on teenage behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(1), pages 9-33, February.
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