Europe and alcoholism

Genetic Variability, Economic Behavior and the Formation of Social Norms: The Case of European Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption patterns vary across Europe. Northern Europeans frequently engage in excessive drinking in social situations (EDSS), behavior less common in southern Europe. We develop a model to explore whether these behavioral differences could be rooted in genetic variations across Europe and then compounded by social reinforcement mechanisms. Our results suggest conditions exist in which EDSS can emerge as a strategy in a larger fraction of the population than is genetically predisposed to EDSS. Implications for the current effort to harmonize alcohol policy across the European Union are explored.

You can read the full working paper yourself. They don’t seem to take into account superior southern European alcohol metabolization, but they do point out that northern Europeans are likely to be innately shyer. Alternative title: “Why Finns get shit-faced.”

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