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The Complex Attitudes to Alcohol Taxation

  • Nordblom, Katarina

    ()

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

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.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/2713
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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 207.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 05 May 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Nordblom, Katarina, 'The Complex Attitudes to Alcohol Taxation' in Applied Economics, 2011, pages 3355-3364.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0207
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/

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  1. Philip J. Cook & Jan Ostermann & Frank A. Sloan, 2005. "The Net Effect of an Alcohol Tax Increase on Death Rates in Middle Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 278-281, May.
  2. Andrew B. Lyon & Robert M. Schwab, 1991. "Consumption Taxes in a Life-Cycle Framework: Are Sin Taxes Regressive?," NBER Working Papers 3932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Asplund, Björn Marcus & Friberg, Richard & Wilander, Fredrik, 2005. "Demand and Distance: Evidence on Cross-Border Shopping," CEPR Discussion Papers 4983, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Norman Gemmell & Oliver Morrissey & Abuzer Pinar, 2004. "Tax perceptions and preferences over tax structure in the united kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages F117-F138, 02.
  5. Sara Markowitz & Robert Kaestner & Michael Grossman, 2005. "An Investigation of the Effects of Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol Policies on Youth Risky Sexual Behaviors," NBER Working Papers 11378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Parry, Ian W.H. & Laxminarayan, Ramanan & West, Sarah E., 2006. "Fiscal and Externality Rationales for Alcohol Taxes," Discussion Papers dp-06-51, Resources For the Future.
  8. 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.
  9. Ian Crawford & Sarah Tanner, 1995. "Bringing it all back home: alcohol taxation and cross-border shopping," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(2), pages 94-114, May.
  10. Hammar, Henrik & Jagers, Sverker C. & Nordblom, Katarina, 2006. "What explains attitudes towards tax levels? A multi-tax comparison," Working Papers in Economics 225, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  11. Donald S. Kenkel, 2005. "Are Alcohol Tax Hikes Fully Passed Through to Prices? Evidence from Alaska," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 273-277, May.
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