Beer Drinking Nations - The Determinants of Global Beer Consumption

LICOS Discussion Paper No. 270/2010

40 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2011

See all articles by Liesbeth Colen

Liesbeth Colen

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS)

Johan F. M. Swinnen

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS); European Commission, DG II

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the evolution of beer consumption between countries and over time.

Historically, there have been major changes in beer consumption in the world. In recent times, per capita consumption has decreased in traditional “beer drinking nations” while it increased strongly in emerging economies. Recently, China has overtaken the US as the largest beer economy. A quantitative empirical analysis shows that the relationship between income and beer consumption has an inverse U-shape. Beer consumption initially increases with rising incomes, but at higher levels of income beer consumption falls. Increased openness to trade and globalization has contributed to a convergence in alcohol consumption patterns across countries. In countries that were originally “beer drinking nations”, the share of beer in total alcohol consumption reduced while this is not the case in countries which traditionally drank mostly wine or spirits. Climatic conditions, religion, and relative prices also influence beer consumption.

Keywords: beer, consumption patterns, history, taste convergence

JEL Classification: N30, D12, Q11

Suggested Citation

Colen, Liesbeth and Swinnen, Johan F.M., Beer Drinking Nations - The Determinants of Global Beer Consumption (2010). LICOS Discussion Paper No. 270/2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1752829 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1752829

Liesbeth Colen (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS) ( email )

Waaistraat 6 - box 3511
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Johan F.M. Swinnen

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS) ( email )

Waaistraat 6
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

European Commission, DG II ( email )

Wetstrath 200
Office 15172
1049 Brussels
Belgium
+32-2-2960442 (Phone)
Not available (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,605
Abstract Views
4,309
rank
10,413
PlumX Metrics