What Do the Bingers Drink? Micro-unit Evidence on Negative Externalities and Drinker Characteristics of Alcohol Consumption by Beverage Types
The recent debate on alcohol tax reform and recommendations from the Henry Tax Review in Australia have highlighted the need for quantifying externalities of excessive alcohol consumption by beverage types. This paper presents micro-level information from the Australian National Drug Strategy Household Surveys to examine the association between risky drinking behaviour, drinker characteristics, health and labour market status, and types of alcohol beverages consumed. Drinkers of regular strength beer (RSB) and ready-to-drink spirits in a can (RTDC) have the highest incidences of heavy bingeing, whilst low alcohol beer, fortified wine or bottled wine drinkers are least likely. Bottled spirits (BS), RSB and RTDC are most likely to be linked to risky behaviour such as property damage and physical abuse under alcohol influence. All three spirit products are overwhelmingly the favourable drinks for the underage and young drinkers. Risky drinking behaviour is found not to be associated with the alcohol strength of the products.
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