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Beer Drinking Nations. The Determinants of Global Beer Consumption

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  • Johan F.M.Swinnen
  • Liesbeth Colen

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the evolution of beer consumption between countries and over time. Historically, there have been major changes in beer consumption in the world. In recent times, per capita consumption has decreased in traditional " beer drinking nations" while it increased strongly in emerging economies. Recently, China has overtaken the US as the largest beer economy. A quantitative empirical analysis shows the relationship between income and beer consumption has an inverse U-shape. Beer consumption initially increases with rising incomes, but at higher levels of income beer consumption falls. Increased openness to trade and globalization has contributed to a convergence in alcohol consumption patterns across countries. In countries that were originally "beer drinking nations", the share of beer in total alcohol consumption reduced while this is not the case in countries which traditionally drank mostly wine or spirits. Climatic conditions, religion, and relative prices also influence beer consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Johan F.M.Swinnen & Liesbeth Colen, 2010. "Beer Drinking Nations. The Determinants of Global Beer Consumption," LICOS Discussion Papers 27010, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:27010
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    Cited by:

    1. Koen Deconinck & Johan F.M. Swinnen, 2012. "War, Taxes, and Borders:How Beer Created Belgium," LICOS Discussion Papers 30812, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    2. Koen Deconinck & Jo Swinnen, 2012. "Peer Effects in Alcohol Consumption: Evidence from Russia’s Beer Boom," LICOS Discussion Papers 31612, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    3. Esposti, Roberto & Fastigi, Matteo & Orazi, Francesco & Viganò, Elena, 2015. "The irresistible rise of craft breweries in Italy: magic out of nowhere or just another example of agro-food diversification?," 2015 Fourth Congress, June 11-12, 2015, Ancona, Italy 207271, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
    4. Poelmans, Eline & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2011. "From Monasteries to Multinationals (and Back): A Historical Review of the Beer Economy," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 196-216, October.
    5. Deconinck, Koen & Swinnen, Johan, 2015. "Peer effects and the rise of beer in Russia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 83-96.
    6. Roberto ESPOSTI & Matteo FASTIGI & Elena VIGANO', 2016. "The Irresistible Rise of the Craft-Brewing Sector in Italy: Can We Explain It?," Working Papers 414, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    beer; consumption patterns; history; taste convergence;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices

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