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Excise and Import Taxes on Wine vs Beer and Spirits: An International Comparison


  • Kym Anderson

    () (School of Economics, University of Adelaide, Australia)


Nearly all countries tax the domestic consumption of alcoholic beverages. However, the rates of taxation, and the tax instruments used, vary enormously between countries. This paper provides estimates, for a wide range of high-income and developing countries, of the consumer tax equivalents (CTEs) of wine, beer and spirits taxes as of 2008. It encompasses wholesale sales taxes, excise taxes and import tariffs expressed both in dollars per litre of alcohol and as a percentage of what the wholesale price would be without those taxes (since many taxes are volumetric and so their percentage CTE rates vary with the price of the product). The wine CTE tends to be lower in countries with a large wine industry, by which standard Australia is shown to have relatively high wine CTEs at least for premium wine but, because Australia uses a percentage tax rather than the far more commonly used volumetric tax measure, a relatively low rate for non-premium wine.

Suggested Citation

  • Kym Anderson, 2010. "Excise and Import Taxes on Wine vs Beer and Spirits: An International Comparison," Wine Economics Research Centre Working Papers 2010-05, University of Adelaide, Wine Economics Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:adl:winewp:2010-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Berger, Nicholas & Anderson, Kym, 1999. "Consumer And Import Taxes In The World Wine Market: Australia In International Perspective," 1999 Conference (43th), January 20-22, 1999, Christchurch, New Zealand 123770, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    2. Christopher Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin, 2010. "Alcohol Regulation and Crime," NBER Chapters,in: Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs, pages 291-329 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Pogue, Thomas F & Sgontz, Larry G, 1989. "Taxing to Control Social Costs: The Case of Alcohol," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 235-243, March.
    4. Kym Anderson & Ernesto Valenzuela & Glyn Wittwer, 2009. "Wine export demand shocks and wine tax reform in Australia: Regional consequences using an economy-wide approach," Centre for International Economic Studies Working Papers 2009-02, University of Adelaide, Centre for International Economic Studies.
    5. Preety Srivastava & Xueyan Zhao, 2010. "What Do the Bingers Drink? Micro-Unit Evidence on Negative Externalities and Drinker Characteristics of Alcohol Consumption by Beverage Types," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 29(2), pages 229-250, June.
    6. Sijbren Cnossen, 2007. "Alcohol taxation and regulation in the European Union," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(6), pages 699-732, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anderson, Kym, 2014. "Excise Taxes on Wines, Beers and Spirits: An Updated International Comparison," Working Papers 190732, American Association of Wine Economists.
    2. repec:cup:jwecon:v:12:y:2017:i:02:p:117-148_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Holmes, Alexander J. & Anderson, Kym, 2017. "Convergence in National Alcohol Consumption Patterns: New Global Indicators," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 117-148, May.
    4. Anderson, Kym & Wittwer, Glyn, 2015. "Asia's evolving role in global wine markets," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 1-14.
    5. repec:fan:ecaqec:v:html10.3280/ecag2017-001004 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kym Anderson, 2010. "Excise and Import Taxes on Wine Versus Beer and Spirits: An International Comparison," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 29(2), pages 215-228, June.

    More about this item


    Consumer wine taxation; Excise taxes; Wine import tariffs; Consumer tax equivalent;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations


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