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The Complex Attitudes to Alcohol Taxation

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  • Nordblom, Katarina

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

Alcoholic beverages are taxed at very different rates across the European Union, which implies extensive cross-border shopping. Therefore, there is an ongoing debate about harmonization of alcohol taxes among countries. Sweden, with a tradition of high alcohol taxes due to public health arguments, has the highest alcohol taxes in the EU. But, because of this, the occurrence and possible problems caused by cross-border shopping are also extensive. Using a questionnaire survey I analyze the attitudes of Swedes’ to alcohol taxation and find that these two sides of the coin are important determinants. Many respondents want to decrease the alcohol tax, while some even want to increase it. Those most reluctant to a tax cut are those who regard increased alcohol consumption as a worrying problem and those living in areas where many adults are treated for alcohol related diseases. However, those who support the EU membership are more likely to support a tax cut to harmonize the Swedish tax with those in other EU countries. Those who live in regions where privately imported alcohol is substantial are also more positive toward a tax cut.

Suggested Citation

  • Nordblom, Katarina, 2006. "The Complex Attitudes to Alcohol Taxation," Working Papers in Economics 207, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0207
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/2713
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    taxation; cross-border shopping; tax harmonization; attitudes;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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