Elasticity of alcohol consumption, alcohol-related harms, and drinking initiation in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Bundit Sornpaisarn Center for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Kevin Shield Center for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Joanna Cohen Center for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Robert Schwartz Center for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Jürgen Rehm Center for Addiction and Mental Health
Keywords: alcohol, elasticity, low-income countries, middle-income countries, price, taxation

Abstract

Sornpaisarn, B., Shield, K. Cohen, J., Schwartz, R. & Rehm, J. (2013). Elasticity of alcohol consumption, alcohol-related harms, and drinking initiation in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 2(1), 45-58.  doi: 10.7895/ijadr.v2i1.50 (http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v2i1.50)

Aim: To systematically review research outlining the effects of price and taxation on alcohol consumption, alcohol-related harms, and drinking initiation in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).

Design: The systematic review and meta-analyses were conducted according to internationally standardized protocols (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis; PRISMA). Data were collected up to June 2011 by searching the peer-reviewed article databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and EconLit, along with the World Health Organization’s gray literature Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, and by reference tracking. The meta-analyses were performed using random effects analysis, tests for publication bias, and sensitivity analyses.

Measures: Any type of association between alcohol price and/or taxation and alcohol consumption, alcohol-related harms, and alcohol drinking initiation in LMIC.

Findings: Our systematic search disclosed 12 studies that outlined an association between alcohol price or taxation and alcohol consumption in LMIC, while no articles were found that outlined a relationship between taxation and/or price and alcohol-related harms or drinking initiation in LMIC. The elasticity estimates were –0.64 (95% CI: –0.80 to –0.48) for total consumption of alcohol, –0.50 (95% CI: –0.78 to –0.21) for consumption of beer, and –0.79 (95% CI: –1.09 to –0.49) for consumption of other alcoholic beverages. Publication bias did not significantly affect the estimated elasticities.

Conclusion: Price elasticity of demand for alcohol in LMIC is similar to that found in high-income countries. There is an imperative need for research on the association between alcohol price or taxation and alcohol-related harms and drinking initiation in LMIC.

Author Biographies

Bundit Sornpaisarn, Center for Addiction and Mental Health

Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada


Department of Mental Health, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand

Kevin Shield, Center for Addiction and Mental Health

Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada

Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Canada

Joanna Cohen, Center for Addiction and Mental Health

Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada

Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, Canada

Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA

Robert Schwartz, Center for Addiction and Mental Health

Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada

Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, Canada

Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada

Jürgen Rehm, Center for Addiction and Mental Health

Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada

Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada

Institute for Clinical Pyschology and Psychotherapy, TU Dresden, Geramany

Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Canada

Published
2013-03-08
How to Cite
Sornpaisarn, B., Shield, K., Cohen, J., Schwartz, R., & Rehm, J. (2013). Elasticity of alcohol consumption, alcohol-related harms, and drinking initiation in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 2(1), 45-58. https://doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v2i1.50
Section
Papers