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Special Taxation of Alcoholic Beverages to Correct Market Failures

John Freebairn

Economic Papers, 2010, vol. 29, issue 2, 200-214

Abstract: In most countries, including Australia, special excise and other taxes are imposed on beer, wine and spirits. This study reviews the market failure arguments for special taxation of alcoholic beverages, evaluates the pros and cons of different externality correction taxes in terms of the tax base and tax rate, and uses the results to suggest reforms. A common specific tax per litre of alcohol by volume across the different beverages levied on a consumption base at the wholesale level, and indexed by a wage index, is proposed.

Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bla:econpa:v:29:y:2010:i:2:p:200-214