The effect of introducing a minimum price on the distribution of alcohol purchase: A counterfactual analysis

Anurag Sharma, Fabrice Etile, Kompal Sinha

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We use counterfactual analysis techniques to evaluate the impact of a $2 minimum unit price (MUP) on the distribution of Australian (Victorian) household off-trade alcohol purchases. Our estimates suggest that a $2 MUP significantly reduces the purchases of at-risk households by up to 0.92 [90% CI: 1.55, 0.28] standard drinks at the highest quantiles and has substantially less effect on households purchasing at light and moderate levels. A $2 MUP may reduce the proportions of male and female shoppers purchasing at the public health threshold of more than two standard drinks per household member per day by 3.03 [90% CI: 4.83, 1.22] percentage points (relative variation: 17%); and 1.85 [90% CI:2.60, 1.10] percentage points (relative variation:22%), respectively. Implementing an MUP on alcohol thus promises significant positive impacts on public health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1182-1200
Number of pages19
JournalHealth Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • minimum unit price
  • alcohol
  • counterfactual distribution
  • decomposition

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