What do the bingers drink? Micro-unit evidence on negative externalities and drinker characteristics of alcohol consumption by beverage types

Preety Srivastava, Xueyan Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The recent debate on alcohol tax reform, recommendations from the national preventative health task force and from the Henry Tax Review in Australia have highlighted the need for quantifying externalities of excessive alcohol consumption by beverage types. This paper presents microlevel information from the Australian National Drug Strategy Household Surveys to examine the association between risky drinking behaviour, drinker characteristics, health and labour market status, and types of alcohol beverages consumed. Drinkers of regular-strength beer (RSB) and ready-to-drink spirits in a can (RTDC) have the highest incidences of heavy bingeing, whereas low-alcohol beer, fortified wine or bottled wine drinkers are least likely. Bottled spirits, RSB and RTDC are most likely to be linked to risky behaviour such as property damage, stealing, and verbal and physical abuse under alcohol influence. All three spirit products are overwhelmingly the favourable drinks for the underage and young drinkers. Risky drinking behaviour is not found to be associated with the alcohol strength of the products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-250
Number of pages22
JournalEconomic Papers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • alcohol consumption
  • alcohol types
  • bingeing
  • D1
  • I1
  • risky behaviour

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