NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Alcohol Advertising Bans and Alcohol Abuse: An International Perspective

Henry Saffer

NBER Working Paper No. 3052 (Also Reprint No. r1685)
Issued in July 1989
NBER Program(s):   HE

The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the effect on alcohol abuse of banning broadcast advertising of alcoholic beverages. The effect of a ban cannot be studied using data from one country because the adoption of new advertising bans is an infrequent event and requires many years for adjustment. However, an international data set can be used since there is considerable variation in the use of advertising bans across countries. The data used in this study are a pooled time series from 17 countries for the period 1970 to 1983. The empirical measures of alcohol abuse are alcohol consumption, liver cirrhosis mortality rates, and highway fatality rates. The cultural factors which influence alcohol use are measured by sets of country dummy variables. The empirical results show that countries with bans on spirits advertising have about 10 percent lower alcohol consumption and motor vehicle fatality rates than countries with no bans. The results also show that countries with bans on beer and wine advertising have about 23 percent lower alcohol consumption and motor vehicle fatality rates than countries with only bans on spirits advertising.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3052

Published: Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 10, pp. 65-79, (1991).

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