The Net Effect of an Alcohol Tax Increase on
This article combines new estimates on the effect of per capital alcohol consumption on drinking patterns with a summary estimate from the epidemiology literature of relative risks associated with different levels of drinking. It is calculated that a permanent reduction of 1% in alcohol consumption per capital, induced by a tax increase or some other mechanism, would have little net effect on mortality in middle age. Sensitivity experiments suggest that the effect may be positive or negative but is always close to zero. Since there is no health benefit from drinking for younger people, and considerable risks, it is concluded that the public-health case for increased alcohol taxation is strong.
Cook, PJ; Ostermann, J; Sloan, FA
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