An Analysis of Beverage Size Restrictions

17 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2020

See all articles by Brian Bourquard

Brian Bourquard

Ernst & Young

Steven Y. Wu

Purdue University - College of Agriculture; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2020


Due to high levels of obesity, various government interventions have been proposed to curb the consumption of sugar‐sweetened beverages (SSBs). The New York City “soda ban,” which proposed to limit the size of SSBs is among the most well‐known and controversial. While public debates about beverage‐size‐restrictions tend to focus on how consumers are impacted, we use a nonlinear pricing model to show that, for all but extremely tight restrictions, consumer welfare would be unaffected by an enforceable restriction. However, sellers’ profit would decline. While consumption is predicted to decline overall, the magnitude of the decline will vary by consumer segment.

Keywords: Beverage size restrictions, health economics, nonlinear pricing, obesity, soda bans, sugar consumption

Suggested Citation

Bourquard, Brian and Wu, Steven Y., An Analysis of Beverage Size Restrictions (January 2020). American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 102, Issue 1, pp. 169-185, 2020, Available at SSRN: or

Brian Bourquard (Contact Author)

Ernst & Young

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Rochester, NY 14604
United States

Steven Y. Wu

Purdue University - College of Agriculture ( email )

United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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