The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 103–113 | Cite as

The effect of alcoholic beverage excise tax on alcohol-attributable injury mortalities

  • Chong Hwan Son
  • Kudret TopyanEmail author
Original Paper


This study examines the effect of state excise taxes on different types of alcoholic beverages (spirits, wine, and beer) on alcohol-attributable injury mortalities—deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents, suicides, homicides, and falls—in the United States between 1995 and 2004, using state-level panel data. There is evidence that injury deaths attributable to alcohol respond differently to changes in state excise taxes on alcohol-specific beverages. This study examines the direct relationship between injury deaths and excise taxes without testing the degree of the association between excise taxes and alcohol consumption. The study finds that beer taxes are negatively related to motor vehicle accident mortality, while wine taxes are negatively associated with suicides and falls. The positive coefficient of the spirit taxes on falls implies a substitution effect between spirits and wine, suggesting that an increase in spirit tax will cause spirit buyers to purchase more wine. This study finds no evidence of a relationship between homicides and state excise taxes on alcohol. Thus, the study concludes that injury deaths attributable to alcohol respond differently to the excise taxes on different types of alcoholic beverages.


Alcohol tax Excise tax Injury death Alcohol consumption Homicide Suicide Falls 

JEL Classifications




We would like to thank Michael Grossman, Naci H. Mocan, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments.


  1. 1.
    Adekoya, N., Moffett, D.B.: State-specific unintentional-injury deaths—United States, 1999–2004. MMWR Wkly 56(43), 1137–1140 (2007)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Alcohol Research & Health, Health Risks and Benefits of Alcohol Consumption. 24 (1), (2000)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Caces, M.F., Elliott, S.D., Noble, J.A., Stinson, F.: Comparative alcohol-related mortality statistics in the United States by State, 1979–1985. Alcohol Health & Research World, Spring (1991)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Caces, M.F., Harford, T.: Time series analysis of alcohol consumption and suicide mortality in the United States, 1934–1987. J. Stud. Alcohol 59(4), 455–461 (1998)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    CDC: Surveillance, assessment of alcohol-related mortality–United States, 1980. MMWR 34(12), 161–163 (1980)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chaloupka, F.J.: Effects of price on alcohol-related problems. Alcohol Health Res. World 17(1), 46–53 (1993)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chaloupka, F.J., Grossman, M., Saffer, H.: The effect of price on alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems. Alcohol Health Res. World 26(1), 22–43 (2002)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chaloupka, F.J., Wechsler, H.: Binge drinking in college: the impact of price, availability, and alcohol control policies. Contemp. Econ. Policy 14(4), (1996)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cook, P.J., Ostermann, J., Sloan, F.A.: The net effect of an alcohol tax increase on death rates in middle age. Alcohol Taxation Control 95(2), 278–281 (2005)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Cook, P.J., Tauchen, G.: The effect of liquor taxes on heavy drinking. Bell J. Econ. 13(2), 379–390 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ellison, C.R.: Importance of pattern of alcohol consumption. Circulation 112, 3818–3819 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Freeman, D.: Alternative panel estimates of alcohol demand, taxation, and the business cycle. South. Econ. J. 67(2), 325–344 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gmel, G., Rehm, J.: Harmful alcohol use. Alcohol Res. Health, 27(1), 52–62 (2003)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Greene, W.H.: Econometric analysis. Macmillan, New York (1993)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Grossman, M., Chaloupka, F.J., Becker, G.S., Murphy, K.M.: Alcohol addiction: an econometric analysis. Presented at the annual meeting of the American economic association, Anaheim, California (1993)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Grossman, M., Chaloupka, F.J., Sirtalan, I.: An empirical analysis of alcohol addiction: results from monitoring the future panels. Econ. Inq. 36(1), 39–46 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Grossman, M., Son, C.H.: Racial differences in effects of regulatory variables on alcohol-related mortality. In: Public policy and alcohol abuse among minorities. Final Report, Grant Number 5 R01 AA09435, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, US Department of Health and Human Services. University of Illinois at Chicago and National Bureau of Economic of Economic Research, Chicago and New York, February (2001)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gulliver, S., Kalman, D., Rohsenow, D., Colby, S.M., Eaton, C.A., Monti, P.M.: Smoking and drinking among alcoholics in treatment: cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships. J. Stud. Alcohol 61, 157–163 (2000)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hammer, T.: Unemployment and use of drug and alcohol among young people: a longitudinal study in the general population. Br. J. Addict. 87, 1571–1581 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Heien, D., Pompelli, G.: The demand for alcohol beverages: economic and demographic effects. South. Econ. J. 55(3), 759–770 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hingson, R.W., Howland, J.: Alcohol and non-traffic unintended injuries. Addiction 88, 877–883 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Janlert, U., Hammarström, A.: Alcohol consumption among unemployed youths: results from a prospective study. Br. J. Addict. 87, 703–714 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Klatsky, A.L., Armstrong, M.A., Kipp, H.: Correlates of alcoholic beverage preference: traits of persons who choose wine, liquor or beer. Br. J. Addict. 85, 1279–1289 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lee, A.J., Crombie, I.K., Smith, W.C.S., Tunstall-Pedoe, H.: Alcohol consumption and unemployment among men: the scottish heart health study. Br. J. Addict. 85, 1165–1170 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lindquist, C., Cockerham, W.C., Hwang, S.S.: Drinking patterns in the American deep south. J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs 60(5), 663–666 (1999)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Mann, R.E., Suurvali, H.M., Smart, R.G.: The relationship between alcohol use and mortality rates from injuries: a comparison of measures. Am. J. Drug Alcohol Abuse 27(4), 737–747 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Marcotte, D.E.: The economics of suicide, revisited. South. Econ. J. 69(3), 628–643 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Mast, B.D., Benson, B.L., Rasmussen, D.W.: Beer taxation and alcohol-related traffic fatalities. South. Econ. J. 66(2), 214–249 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Midanik, L.T., Chaloupka, F.J., Saitz, R., Toomey, T.L.: Alcohol-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost—United States, 2001. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 53(37), 866–870 (2004)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Mukamal, K.J., Maclure, M., Muller, J.E., Mittleman, M.A.: Binge drinking and mortality after acute myocardial infarction. Circulation 112, 3839–3845 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Nelson, J.P.: Advertising bans, monopoly, and alcohol demand: testing for substitution effect using state panel data. Rev. Ind. Organ. 22(1), 1–25 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Norström, T.: Effects on criminal violence of different beverage types and private and public drinking. Addiction 93(5), 689–699 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Parker, R.N., Cartmill, R.S.: Alcohol and homicide in the United States 1934–1995–or one reason why U.S. rates of violence may be going down. Am. J. Drug Alcohol Abuse 88(4), 1369–1398 (1998)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Plugge, E., Fletcher, L., Stewart-Brown, S.: Risk of injury and the consumption of different types of beverage: is there an association? J. Epidemiol. Community Health 55(11), 789–790 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ponicki, W.R., Gruenewald, P.J.: The impact of alcohol taxation on liver cirrhosis mortality. J. Stud. Alcohol 67(6), 934–938 (2006)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Powell, K.E., Kresnow, M., Mercy, J.A., Potter, L.B.: Alcohol consumption and nearly lethal suicide attempts. Suicide Life Threat. Behav. 32, 30–41 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ravenholt, R.T.: Addiction mortality in the United States, 1980: tobacco, alcohol, and other substances. Popul. Dev. Rev. 10(4), 697–724 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Saffer, H., Grossman, M.: Beer taxes, the legal drinking age, and youth motor vehicle fatalities. J. Legal Stud. 16(2), 351–374 (1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Sher, L.: Alcohol consumption and suicide. Q. J. Med. 99, 57–61 (2005)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Sjögren, H., Valverius, P., Eriksson, A.: Gender differences in role of alcohol in fatal injury events. Eur. J. Pub. Health 6(3), 266–270 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Sloan, F.A., Reilly, B.A., Schenzler, C.: Effects of prices, civil and criminal sanctions, and law enforcement on alcohol-related mortality. J. Stud. Alcohol 55(4), 454–465 (1994)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Smart, R.G.: Behavioral and social consequences related to the consumption of different beverage types. J. Stud. Alcohol 57, 77–84 (1996)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Smith, G.S., Branas, C.C., Miller, T.R.: Fatal nontraffic injuries involving alcohol: a metaanalysis. Ann. Emerg. Med. 33(6), 659–668 (1999)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Stockwell, T., Masters, L., Philips, M., Daly, A.: Consumption of different alcoholic beverages as predictors of local rates of night-time assault and acute alcohol-related morbidity. Aust. N. Z. J. Public Health 22(2), 237–242 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Strandberg, T.E., Strandberg, A.Y., Salomaa, V.V., Pitkälä, K.: Alcoholic beverage preference, 29-year mortality, and quality of life in men in old age. J. Gerontol. 62A(2), 213–218 (2007)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Theobald, H., Johansson, S., Engfeldt, P.: Influence of different types of alcoholic beverages on self-reported health status. Alcohol Alcohol. 38(6), 583–588 (2003)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Thun, M.J., Peto, R., Lopez, A.D., Monaco, J.H., Henley, S.J.: Alcohol consumption and mortality among middle-aged and elderly U.S. adults. N. Engl. J. Med. 337(24), 1705–1714 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    U.S. Fire Administration/National Fire Data Center: Establishing a relationship between alcohol and casualties of fire. Top. Fire Res. Ser. 3(3) (2003) Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Weitzman, E.R., Folkman, A., Folkman, K.L., Wechsler, H.: The relationship of alcohol outlet density to heavy and frequent drinking and drinking-related problems among college students at eight Universities. Health Place 9(1), 1–6 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Young, D.J., Bielinska-Kwapisz, A.: Alcohol consumption, beverage prices and measurement error. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism under grant number R03 AA13264, 2001 WEA International Conference (2001)Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Young, D.J., Bielinska-Kwapisz, A.: Alcohol taxes and beverage prices. National Tax J. 55(1), 57–73 (2002)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and FinanceManhattan CollegeRiverdaleUSA
  2. 2.American University in BulgariaBlagoevgradBulgaria

Personalised recommendations