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Alcohol Taxation and Regulation in the European Union

  • Sijbren Cnossen
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    This paper estimates the external costs of harmful alcohol use in the European Union (EU) and confronts them with the alcohol excise duty collections per adult and per litre of pure alcohol in the various Member States. In all but one Member State, drinkers do not appear to pay their way. This reflects the EU’s acquiescence in a formidable alcohol problem. Fifteen per cent of adults ‘drink too much’, while the extent of youth drinking has reached alarming proportions. The external costs should be internalised in price through an appropriate optimal alcohol excise duty, supplemented by regulatory measures aimed at specific problem groups. Further, a coordinated alcohol tax policy seems called for, which would, among others, raise the minimum duties on wine, beer and spirits, preferably in line with their relative alcohol content. A drawback of these measures is that they would reduce the welfare of moderate drinkers.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2006/wp-cesifo-2006-10/cesifo1_wp1821.pdf
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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1821.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1821
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    1. Michael Grossman & Frank J. Chaloupka & Ismail Sirtalan, 1995. "An Empirical Analysis of Alcohol Addiction: Results from the Monitoring the Future Panels," NBER Working Papers 5200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Michael Grossman & Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Saffer & Adit Laixuthai, 1993. "Effects of Alcohol Price Policy on Youth," NBER Working Papers 4385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Henry Saffer & Frank Chaloupka, 1994. "Alcohol Tax Equalization and Social Costs," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 33-43, Winter.
    4. K.W. Clements & W. Yang & S.W. Zheng, 1997. "Is utility additive? The case of alcohol," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 97-02, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    5. Vidar Christiansen & Stephen Smith, 2001. "The Economics of Duty-Free Shopping," CESifo Working Paper Series 595, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Richard M. Bird & Sally Wallace, 2003. "Taxing Alcohol in Africa: Reflections from International Experience," International Tax Program Papers 0304, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, revised Nov 2003.
    7. Sara Markowitz & Michael Grossman, 1998. "Alcohol Regulation And Domestic Violence Towards Children," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(3), pages 309-320, 07.
    8. MacDonald, Ziggy & Shields, Michael A, 2001. "The Impact of Alcohol Consumption on Occupational Attainment in England," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(271), pages 427-53, August.
    9. Sara Markowitz, 1999. "The Price of Alcohol, Wife Abuse, and Husband Abuse," NBER Working Papers 6916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kenkel, Donald S, 1996. "New Estimates of the Optimal Tax on Alcohol," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(2), pages 296-319, April.
    11. Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Saffer & Michael Grossman, 1991. "Alcohol Control Policies and Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 3831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Manning, Willard G. & Blumberg, Linda & Moulton, Lawrence H., 1995. "The demand for alcohol: The differential response to price," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 123-148, June.
    13. Kenkel, Donald S, 1993. "Drinking, Driving, and Deterrence: The Effectiveness and Social Costs of Alternative Policies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 877-913, October.
    14. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1996. "Alcohol policies and highway vehicle fatalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 435-454, August.
    15. Cnossen, Sijbren (ed.), 2005. "Theory and Practice of Excise Taxation: Smoking, Drinking, Gambling, Polluting, and Driving," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199278596, March.
    16. Jenny Williams & Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Wechsler, 2002. "Are There Differential Effects of Price and Policy on College Students' Drinking Intensity?," NBER Working Papers 8702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Farrell, Susan & Manning, Willard G. & Finch, Michael D., 2003. "Alcohol dependence and the price of alcoholic beverages," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 117-147, January.
    18. Markowitz, Sara, 2005. "Alcohol, Drugs and Violent Crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 20-44, March.
    19. Ian Crawford & Sarah Tanner, 1999. "Alcohol taxes, tax revenues and the Single European Market," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 20(3), pages 287-304, September.
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