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Changes in alcohol availability, price and alcohol-related problems and the collectivity of drinking cultures: What happened in southern and northern Sweden?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). (Nordic Tax Study)
2010 (English)In: Alcohol and Alcoholism, ISSN 0735-0414, E-ISSN 1464-3502, Vol. 45, no 5, 456-467 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims. There were two aims with this paper; first to study whether alcohol-related self-reported problems behaved in the same way as alcohol consumption in southern Sweden -- assumed to be affected by a decrease in Danish spirits tax and increased Swedish travellers’ import quotas. The second aim was to study whether the results in southern and northern Sweden followed the predictions of Skog’s theory of collectivity of drinking cultures. Methods. Analysis was carried out on a sample from the general Swedish population for southern and northern Sweden separately. Two indexes for alcohol-related problems were computed and analysed by sex, age, income and alcohol consumption level. Results. Although there were no large changes in the number of persons reporting alcohol-related problems, the general trend in data for various sub-populations was a decrease in the southern site and an increase in the northern site. The increase among men noted in alcohol consumption in the northern site was found among alcohol-related problems as well. However, various population subgroups changed in different directions and did not move in concert over the population distribution. Conclusions. Analyses conformed that alcohol-related problems according to the two indexes used were behaving similarly to alcohol consumption, but less divergent. Skog’s theory could not be confirmed, alcohol-related problems did not change collectively within the population.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford university press , 2010. Vol. 45, no 5, 456-467 p.
Keyword [en]
alcohol availability, travellers' import quotas, price, spirits tax, collectivity of drinking
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38828DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agq046ISI: 000281528300012OAI: diva2:315759
Nordic Tax Study
Available from: 2010-04-29 Created: 2010-04-29 Last updated: 2011-11-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Bridging the world: Alcohol Policy in Transition and Diverging Alcohol Patterns in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bridging the world: Alcohol Policy in Transition and Diverging Alcohol Patterns in Sweden
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present dissertation aims at analysing the effects of recent alcohol policy changes. The traditional strict policy in Sweden had focused on high pricing and limited availability to control levels of alcohol consumed and thus alcohol-related harms. However, increased travellers’ allowances meant larger availability of cheaper alcohol when importing from Denmark and Germany, which are the countries from which Swedes obtain most of their private imports; the tax decrease in Denmark further decreased the price. As the economic literature links demand to price of a commodity and the early (smaller) quota changes had resulted in higher consumption in southern Sweden, it was expected that these latest changes would mean higher consumption and more alcohol-related problems in this area in particular. Some groups were additionally expected to be more affected than others.

The present compilation thesis comprises four related articles and an introductory chapter that ties them together. Article I focuses on private imports in relation to quota changes 2002 – 2004 and relate this to purchase at the alcohol monopoly stores. Self-reported consumption and alcohol-related problems are studied in Article II and IV. In Article III, register data on alcohol-related harms, i.e. hospitalizations and police-recorded crimes, are analysed.

The results of the dissertation were puzzling, since there was no large increase in consumption or alcohol-related problems in the south, but increases in the north during the period. However, private imports and cases of hospitalization due to alcohol poisoning were found to have increased in the south. Thus, the results imply that these policy changes had an effect on private imports, but that this effect was not large enough to increase total consumption as well. Additionally, increased alcohol poisoning cases implied that there had been an impact among high consumers. The increases found in consumption and problems in the north may instead have other explanations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2010. 57 p.
Stockholm studies in sociology, ISSN 0491-0885 ; N.S., 42Dissertations at the Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD), 9
alcohol consumption, alcohol-related consequences, availability, price, EU, social change
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38858 (URN)978-91-86071-39-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-05-28, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: In press. Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Submitted.

Available from: 2010-05-06 Created: 2010-05-01 Last updated: 2015-06-16Bibliographically approved

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Gustafsson, Nina-Katri
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