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

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  • Liam Delaney
  • Arie Kapteyn
  • James P. Smith

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Liam Delaney & Arie Kapteyn & James P. Smith, 2011. "Why Do Some Irish Drink So Much? Family, Historical and Regional Effects on Students' Alcohol Consumption and Subjective Normative Thresholds," Working Papers WR-869, RAND Corporation.
  • Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:wr-869
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. van Soest, Arthur & Delaney, Liam & Harmon, Colm P. & Kapteyn, Arie & Smith, James P., 2007. "Validating the Use of Vignettes for Subjective Threshold Scales," IZA Discussion Papers 2860, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Inna Cintina, 2015. "The effect of minimum drinking age laws on pregnancy, fertility, and alcohol consumption," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 1003-1022, December.

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    Keywords

    Health Behaviors; Family Effects;

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