Evolving from a Rum State: Australia's Alcohol Consumption

40 Pages Posted: 20 May 2020

See all articles by Kym Anderson

Kym Anderson

University of Adelaide - Centre for International Economic Studies (CIES); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Australian National University

Date Written: May 2020

Abstract

Europeans settlers in the Australian colonies had a reputation of being heavy drinkers. Rum dominated during the first few decades, followed by beer. It took until the 1970s before Australia's annual per capita consumption of wine exceeded 10 litres, and even then wine represented only one-fifth of national alcohol consumption. But over the next two decades per capita wine consumption nearly trebled and beer consumption shrunk – the opposite of what happened to global alcohol consumption shares. This paper draws on newly compiled datasets (a) to reveal that Australia was not much more alcoholic than Britain or southern Europe during the nineteenth century and (b) to help explain why it took so long for a consumer interest in wine to emerge in Australia.

Keywords: Alcohol beverage consumption mix, Beverage consumption intensity index, Wine globalization

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Kym, Evolving from a Rum State: Australia's Alcohol Consumption (May 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14761, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3603993

Kym Anderson (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - Centre for International Economic Studies (CIES) ( email )

School of Economics
Adelaide SA 5005
Australia
+61 8 8313 4712 (Phone)
+61 8 8223 1460 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Australian National University ( email )

Arndt-Corden Dept of Economics
Coombs Building
Canberra, AK ACT 2600
Australia
+61 8 8313 4712 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://publicpolicy.anu.edu.au/crawford_people/content/staff/acde/kanderson.php

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