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Longitudinal Study: HILDA
Title: The Australian ready-to-drink beverages tax missed its target age group
Authors: Alexeev, Sergey
Weatherburn, Donald 
Publication Date: Sep-2021
Pages: 103399
Keywords: drinking
Abstract: Background During 2008 and 2009, the Australian Government increased the tax on ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages by 70% to discourage drinking among adolescents. Methods To evaluate the tax, we use the difference-in-difference and comparative interrupted time series estimators, where age is used to define the control and treatment groups. This methodology is applied to the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey. Results We show that the tax did not affect the alcohol consumption of those aged under 25 (the tax targeted age group) but substantially reduced drinking among those aged 25–69, reducing their average daily consumption of standard drinks by 8.9% from 2010 to 2018. Conclusion The age group under 25 did not respond to the tax likely because of product substitution. Alcohol price policy may need to acknowledge complex substitute/complement relationships between beverages and consider a floor price on alcohol or a uniform volumetric tax per standard drink.
DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103399
Keywords: Australia; Drinking; Ready-to-drink beverages; Alcopops
Research collection: Journal Articles
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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