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Convergence in National Alcohol Consumption Patterns: New Global Indicators

Listed author(s):
  • Anderson, Kym
  • Holmes, Alexander

With increasing globalisation and interactions between cultures, countries are converging in many ways, including in their consumption patterns. The extent to which this has been the case in alcohol consumption has been the subject of previous studies, but those studies have been limited in scope to a specific region or group of high-income countries or to just one or two types of alcohol. The present study updates earlier findings, covers all countries of the world since 1961, introduces two new summary indicators to capture additional dimensions of the extent of convergence in total alcohol consumption and in its mix of beverages, and distinguishes countries according to whether their alcoholic focus was on wine, beer or spirits in the early 1960s as well as to their geographic region and their real per capita income. Also, for recent years we add expenditure data and compare alcohol with soft drink retail expenditure, and we show what difference it makes when unrecorded alcohol volumes are included as part of total alcohol consumption. The final section summarizes the findings and suggests further research could provide new demand elasticity estimates and use econometrics to explain the varying extents of convergence over time, space and beverage type.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 12110.

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Date of creation: Jun 2017
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12110
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  1. Joshua Aizenman & Eileen Brooks, 2008. "Globalization and Taste Convergence: the Cases of Wine and Beer," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 217-233, 05.
  2. Liesbeth Colen & Johan Swinnen, 2016. "Economic Growth, Globalisation and Beer Consumption," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 186-207, 02.
  3. Saroja Selvanathan & Eliyathamby Selvanathan, 2007. "Another look at the identical tastes hypothesis on the analysis of cross-country alcohol data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 185-215, April.
  4. Anderson, Kym, 2014. "Excise Taxes on Wines, Beers and Spirits: An Updated International Comparison," Working Papers 190732, American Association of Wine Economists.
  5. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Anderson, Kym, 2014. "Changing Varietal Distinctiveness of the World's Wine Regions: Evidence from a New Global Database," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(03), pages 249-272, December.
  7. 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.
  8. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
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