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Alcohol Consumption and Political Ideology: What's Party Got to Do with It?*

  • Pavel A. Yakovlev (a1) and Walter P. Guessford (a2)

Recent research in psychology and sociology has established a connection between political beliefs and unhealthy behaviors such as excessive alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug consumption. In this study, we estimate the relationship between political ideology and the demand for beer, wine, and spirits using a longitudinal panel of fifty U.S. states from 1952 to 2010. Controlling for various socioeconomic factors and unobserved heterogeneity, we find that when a state becomes more liberal politically, its consumption of beer and spirits rises, while its consumption of wine may fall. Our findings suggest that political beliefs are correlated with the demand for alcohol. (JEL Classifications: D3, D12, I1)

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We thank an anonymous referee and the faculty members at Duquesne University for constructive comments and suggestions.

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