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Liberals drink more alcohol, study finds

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For immediate release: January 29, 2014
Location: New York, NY, USA

Liberals drink more alcohol, study finds

Could your political party predict your propensity for partying? A sobering study published by the Journal of Wine Economics finds that alcohol consumption in American states rises as the population’s political persuasion becomes more liberal.

Findings from the study into the relationship between drink and politics across 50 states in the US over the past 50 years suggest a direct correlation between political beliefs and the demand for alcohol.

Economists from Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University reveal that, as states become more liberal politically over time, their consumption of beer and spirits rises – while their consumption of wine tends to fall.

The research reveals that more politically liberal states like Nevada tend to consume up to three times more alcohol per head than more politically conservative states like Arkansas and Utah.

The study by Pavel Yakovlev and Walter P. Guessford reviewed more than five decades of data between 1952 and 2010 and measured alcohol intake against “citizen ideology”, which was inferred from the voting patterns of congressional representatives.

“In this study, we show that liberal ideology has a statistically significant positive association with the consumption of alcohol in the United States even after controlling for economic, demographic, and geographic differences across states,” the authors say.

“Holding everything else constant, our findings suggest that when a state becomes more liberal politically, its population consumes more beer and spirits per capita, but possibly less wine per capita.”

The authors’ findings are relatively consistent with recent sociological studies in other parts of the world showing that people with more socialist views tend to engage in more unhealthy behavior, such as excessive drinking. For example, they cite one 2002 study, which found that Russian pro-socialists were significantly more likely than anti-socialists to drink alcohol frequently. Another 2006 survey in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine found that adults with anti-communist views had healthier lifestyles than their pro-communist peers.

Explanations offered by the authors of this latest study include the suggestion that people of a more liberal persuasion tend to be more open to new experiences, including the consumption of alcohol or drugs – or that they might feel more confident in government healthcare and social welfare to pick up the pieces of their socially irresponsible behavior.

The authors suggest that further research is needed to explore the relationship between political beliefs and other unhealthy behaviors in future.
Read the full article here.


About the Journal of Wine Economics

Published by the Cambridge University Press, the Journal of Wine Economics is the official publication of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) – a non-profit, educational organisation dedicated to encouraging and communicating economic research and analyses and exchanging ideas in wine economics.

For further information about the journal, please go to: http://journals.cambridge.org/JWE

About Cambridge Journals

Cambridge University Press publishes over 300 peer-reviewed journals, including journals published on behalf of over 100 learned societies, which form the latest in research and discovery across a range of topics. Many of these journals are the leading academic publications in their fields and together they form one of the most valuable and comprehensive collections of research available today.

Across the world, Cambridge Journals are available in print and online – keeping scientists, researchers, and scholars abreast of crucial developments in research.

About Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Dedicated to excellence, its purpose is to further the University’s objective of advancing knowledge, education, learning, and research.

Its extensive peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise 45,000 titles.

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One Response

  1. Gee, I’m guessing that Liberals do more drugs, have more fun sex, and, generally, enjoy themselves more because they are more open to exploring life. And i bet they are more creative as it, painting, music, acting, etc.