« Just a little bit of Macro First | Main | PPFs and Supply curves (why PPFs are bowed out and supply curves slope up) »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Some of it might be demographics? Young adults drinking the most, so the baby boomers would be imbibing in the 1970's?

What (if anything) has been happening to alcohol taxes across these countries? And what has been happening to income? (At a guess, if alcohol taxes have been rising faster in higher income countries and incomes have been converging, even somewhat, we might well expect this pattern.)

I agree with Nick, baby boomers are setting the pattern of per capita consumption because they dominate populations statistics.

The hump shape is the typical shape of a person's life course of drinking. So when the baby boomers dominate, per capita consumption looks like their life course of consumption.

In New Zealand, per capita consumption looks like figure 3. But when per capita consumption was declining, every age group had the same consumption level over time (older men) or was increasing over time (young people, women). It was only declining because more and more people were moving into the tail of life course drinking curve.

Livio, thanks for this, you posted this at a very opportune moment, as I'm writing something which touches on these issues!

I'd figure the 1997 to 2010 run-up would be the Echo Boom, as others have said, also perhaps I'm wondering if more aggressive marketing to women/greater social acceptability of female drinking has played a role? I'm thinking of things like Bud Lite Lime-a-Rita and similarly vile concoctions described here http://www.cosmopolitan.com/food-cocktails/g1681/fun-and-girlie-drinks/.

Go to any park in Sydney and it's full of young, attractive, healthy people exercising in very tiny tops and tight rubber trousers.

Twenty years ago, that would have been unthinkable. Wearing tight plastic trousers in a bar while drinking and smoking was perfectly acceptable. Going surfing and then beers afterwards would have been fine... but jogging? Joining a health club? It's like a whole different world these days.

What is a "liter of alcoholic beverage" here? Especially when making international comparisons, it might be important to know if Americans are predominantly drinking 5% ABV beers whereas the French are drinking 15% ABV wine.

If you go back 200 years I believe the long-term pattern is one of continuous decline. The amounts recorded for drinking in the 1800s are staggering. I believe tobacco tracks a similar decline.

This is one of the reasons I suspect that, whatever you think of it otherwise, decriminalizing marijuana would not lead to a massive long-term increase in its use, and its consumption would ultimately become concentrated in the young and the less educated (like tobacco). No reason to think pot would be different form alcohol or tabacco.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search this site

  • Google

Blog powered by Typepad