Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol Advertising Bans

Henry Saffer

NBER Working Paper No. 7758
Issued in June 2000
NBER Program(s):Health Economics

The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the relationship between alcohol advertising bans and alcohol consumption. Most prior studies have found no effect of advertising on total alcohol consumption. A simple economic model is provided which explains these prior results. The data set used in this study is a pooled time series of data from 20 countries over 26 years. The empirical model is a simultaneous equations system which treats both alcohol consumption and alcohol advertising bans as endogenous. The primary conclusions of this study are that alcohol advertising bans decrease alcohol consumption and that alcohol consumption has a positive effect on the legislation of advertising bans. The results indicate that an increase of one ban could reduce alcohol consumption by five to eight percent. The alcohol price elasticity is estimated at about .2. The results suggest that recent exogenous decreases in alcohol consumption will decrease the probability of enactment of new bans and undermine the continuance of existing bans. Canada, Denmark, New Zealand and Finland have recently rescinded alcohol advertising bans. Alcohol consumption in these countries may increase or decrease at a slower rate than would have occurred had advertising bans remained in place.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7758

Published: Henry Saffer & Dhaval Dave, 2002. "Alcohol consumption and alcohol advertising bans," Applied Economics, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 34(11), pages 1325-1334. citation courtesy of

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