Globalization and Taste Convergence: The Case of Wine and Beer

Joshua Aizenman, Eileen L. Brooks

NBER Working Paper No. 11228
Issued in March 2005
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment

This paper investigates changes in cultural consumption patterns for a low concentration industry: wine and beer. Using data on 38 countries from 1963-2000, there is clear convergence in the consumption of wine relative to beer between 1963 and 2000. Convergence occurs even more quickly within groups of countries that have a higher degree of integration. A key prediction of international trade is confirmed in the data: greater trade integration weakens the association between production and consumption patterns -- although the relative consumption of wine can be explained well in 1963 by grape production and latitude, these variables are much less significant in 2000. Despite these "scientific" explanations for the consumption of wine, there is also a cultural angle to wine consumption. While the relative wine consumption of France and Germany is converging, several Latin American countries fail to converge. The patterns of convergence are consistent with dynamics of adjustment in an overlapping generation habit formation model.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11228

Published: Joshua Aizenman & Eileen Brooks, 2008. "Globalization and Taste Convergence: the Cases of Wine and Beer," Review of International Economics, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 16(2), pages 217-233, 05. citation courtesy of

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