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In the News

Scottish minimum alcohol price reduces demand

Graham Watson

26th September 2019

Here is an interesting insight into the impact of a minimum price for alcohol in Scotland: the amount drunk by Scots has fallen by 7.6%, twice the forecast amount built into the modelling estimates according to preliminary research published in the British Medical Journal - here is the link

Although the article lacks in-depth analysis, the fact that the measure has had a more marked effect than anticipated highlights the fact that the demand for alcohol might be more elastic than was anticipated.

The BMJ article says that "the most effective and cost effective policies to reduce the harm from alcohol are measures that constrain the price, availability, and marketing of alcohol."

The 9.5 g reduction reported thus far overall is equivalent to slightly more than one unit of alcohol—roughly half a pint of beer, a third of a can of strong cider, or one measure of spirits.

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to Tutor2U, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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