06 Dec 2021 12:15

Pietro Biroli - Genes, Pubs, and Drinks: Gene-environment interplay and alcohol licensing pollicy

Meeting Room 1 (San Giobbe Economics Campus) + Live streaming (ZOOM)

Pietro Biroli (University of Zurich and the UBS Center for Economics in Society




TitleGenes, Pubs, and Drinks: Gene-environment interplay and alcohol licensing policy in the United Kingdom (with Christian Zünd)

Abstract: Are we genetically destined to behave poorly, or can a well-designed policy and a nurturing environment prevail over our instincts? This paper analyzes the interplay of public policy and individuals' genetic endowments, demonstrating how people's genetic propensity to drink moderates their consumption behavior in response to changes in alcohol availability and licensing policy. We combine data from the UK Biobank with geo-coded data on pubs and retailers, as well as data on alcohol licensing from local authorities in England and Wales. This allows us to construct a fine-grained measure of local alcohol availability for each one of the approximately 500,000 participants in the UK Biobank. Our results show that individuals with a high genetic propensity to drink select into environments with easier access to alcohol, react less to changes in the availability of alcohol, and respond less to restrictive licensing. Thus, we show that a supply-focused licensing policy to mitigate alcohol abuse can clash with individual predispositions and might exacerbate genetic inequality, suggesting the need for a more targeted approach.



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For those who cannot attend in person, you can find the zoom link information here: - Meeting ID 813 3089 4687


The event will be held in English

Organized by

Department of Economics (EcSeminars; CVera)


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