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The demand for intensity versus frequency of alcohol consumption: Evidence from rural Australia


  • Dennis Petrie
  • Christopher Doran
  • Anthony Shakeshaft
  • Rob Sanson-Fisher


This paper develops a theoretical model for the demand of alcohol where intensity and frequency of consumption are separate choices made by individuals in order to maximize their utility. While distinguishing between intensity and frequency of consumption may be unimportant for many goods, this is clearly not the case with alcohol where the likelihood of harm depends not only on the total amount consumed but also on the pattern of use. The results from the theoretical model are applied to data from rural Australia in order to investigate the factors that affect the patterns of alcohol use for this population group. This research can play an important role in informing policies by identifying those factors which influence preferences for patterns of risky alcohol use and those groups and communities who are most at risk of harm.

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis Petrie & Christopher Doran & Anthony Shakeshaft & Rob Sanson-Fisher, 2009. "The demand for intensity versus frequency of alcohol consumption: Evidence from rural Australia," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 222, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  • Handle: RePEc:dun:dpaper:222

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Clements, Kenneth W & Johnson, Lester W, 1983. "The Demand for Beer, Wine, and Spirits: A Systemwide Analysis," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(3), pages 273-304, July.
    2. Fredrik Berggren & Matthew Sutton, 1999. "Are frequency and intensity of participation decision-bearing aspects of consumption? An analysis of drinking behaviour," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(7), pages 865-874.
    3. Kenneth W. Clements & Saroja Selvanathan, 1991. "The Economic Determinants Of Alcohol Consumption," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 35(2), pages 209-231, August.
    4. Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Wechsler, 1996. "Binge Drinking In College: The Impact Of Price, Availability, And Alcohol Control Policies," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(4), pages 112-124, October.
    5. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gawain Heckley & Johan Jarl & Ulf-G Gerdtham, 2017. "Frequency and intensity of alcohol consumption: new evidence from Sweden," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(4), pages 495-517, May.

    More about this item


    alcohol; demand model; patterns of consumption;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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