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AlcoholScience, Policy and Public Health$
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Peter Boyle, Paolo Boffetta, Albert B. Lowenfels, Harry Burns, Otis Brawley, Witold Zatonski, and Jürgen Rehm

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199655786

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655786.001.0001

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Taxation and price control

Taxation and price control

Chapter:
(p.369) Chapter 45 Taxation and price control
Source:
Alcohol
Author(s):

Michael Livingston

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655786.003.0045

Along with measures designed to reduce the availability of alcohol, taxation has been the most common policy approach used by governments to control alcohol consumption and its attendant health and social problems. This has provided the means for extensive studies of its impact on alcohol consumption and related harm in a variety of societal settings. This chapter reviews this literature, broadly summarizing the relationships between alcohol prices, alcohol consumption, and alcohol problems. Studies show that consumers respond to price increases by reducing their consumption and to reductions in price by drinking more. Many critics of alcohol taxation suggest that it fails to affect problematic drinkers. This is not supported by the literature, with studies showing that both young people and heavy drinkers respond to price changes.

Keywords:   tax policy, alcohol policy, alcohol consumption, alcohol prices, alcohol pricing controls

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