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Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus Working Papers, Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus

No 04-14:
Short-run and long-run relationships in the consumption of alcohol in the Scandinavian countries

Jan Bentzen () and Valdemar Smith ()

Abstract: Traditionally, the Scandinavian countries have been characterized as spirits and beer consuming countries and a century ago the historical background was decades of relatively heavy drinking behaviour with spirit as the preferred beverage. Therefore, it might be expected that alcohol consumption especially in the last part of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century would behave in a counter-cyclical manner, i.e. heavy drinking during severe recessions characterized by harsh economic conditions. Using long-run time series data for alcohol consumption levels in the Scandinavian countries the question of a counter-cyclical or pro-cyclical behaviour is addressed with the business cycle measured as the GDP and the empirical findings are that generally, alcohol consumption behaves in a pro-cyclical manner in the short run, and with no long-run relationship concerning real income.

Keywords: Alcohol consumption; Business cycles; Scandinavia; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: C22; D12; (follow links to similar papers)

22 pages, December 10, 2004

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