Increasing traveller's allowances in Sweden - how did it affect travellers' imports and Systembolaget sales?
2009 (English)In: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (English Edition), ISSN 1455-0725, Vol. 26, no 2, 165-176 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The aim of this study is to illuminate: 1. If the increases in travellers´ allowances in 2002, 2003 and 2004 have been associated with increasing travellers’ imports in Sweden? 2. How the (conceivable) effect was distributed during the following year? 3. If there were regional and beverage-specific variations in these effects? 4. How the patterns of change correspond to changes in sales at Systembolaget?
Data and Method
Data were obtained from a monthly survey and aggregated into annual and quarterly estimates of beverage-specific amounts of imported alcohol per adult for southern, mid- and northern Sweden as well as for the whole of Sweden. In the analysis subsequent quarters are compared after each quota change with the same quarters the previous year as well as with corresponding changes in sales at Systembolaget.
The increase of spirits allowances in 2002 was not followed by a significant increase in any travellers’ imports. The more substantial increases for all beverages in 2003 and particularly 2004 were followed by significant increases in the whole of Sweden and particularly in the Southern of Sweden. The quarterly changes, however, showed signs of a declining “charm of novelty” effect. Systembolaget sales only partly developed in the opposite direction of imports, suggesting that substitution did not always occur.
Travellers’ imports increase with more liberal allowances but the magnitude of the effect depended on several factors, e.g., the proportion of the change and region in terms of distance to the Danish and German borders. Other factors seem to be changes of alcohol taxes in neighbouring countries, domestic availability and travelling habits. The declining “charm of novelty” effect suggest that the longer term implications of repealing these quotas may be less significant than was expected in the earlier public discussions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helsinki, Finland: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) , 2009. Vol. 26, no 2, 165-176 p.
travellers’ allowances, alcohol, price, import quotas, Systembolaget, Sweden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-32152OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-32152DiVA: diva2:279663
ProjectsGränslösheten och den nordiska alkoholpolitiken. Nordic Alcohol Policies and the Challenges of Borderlessness. (GRAN)Effects of major changes in alcohol availability (Nordic Tax study)