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Beer Drinking Nations. The Determinants of Global Beer Consumption

  • Johan F.M.Swinnen
  • Liesbeth Colen

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.

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Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 27010.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:27010
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  1. Jon Nelson, 2003. "Advertising Bans, Monopoly, and Alcohol Demand: Testing for Substitution Effects using State Panel Data," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 1-25, February.
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  5. Victor J. Tremblay & Carol Horton Tremblay, 2005. "The US Brewing Industry: Data and Economic Analysis," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262201518, June.
  6. Damiaan Persyn & Johan F.M.Swinnen & Stijn Vanormelingen, 2010. "Belgian Beers : Where History meets Globalization," LICOS Discussion Papers 27110, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  7. Aizenman, Joshua & Brooks, Eileen, 2005. "Globalization and taste convergence: The cases of wine and beer," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt99j2n7rf, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  8. Swinnen, Johan F.M. (ed.), 2011. "The Economics of Beer," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199693801, March.
  9. James Fogarty, 2010. "The Demand For Beer, Wine And Spirits: A Survey Of The Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 428-478, 07.
  10. Ornstein, Stanley I & Hanssens, Dominique M, 1985. " Alcohol Control Laws and the Consumption of Distilled Spirits and Beer," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 200-213, September.
  11. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
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