Department of Management

Our Priceless Youth: What do They Know about Alcohol Prices?

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Young people’s excessive alcohol consumption is considered a societal problem in many countries, and higher alcohol taxes are often suggested as a possible remedy. Price increases cannot be effective if unnoticed, but little is known about young people’s alcohol price knowledge and sensitivity, as aggregate price sensitivity studies have produced ambiguous results. Applying individual data, this study examines young people’s knowledge of retail alcohol prices using two price memory tests. Results show that the majority holds fairly accurate reference prices, while a large segment intentionally checks in-store alcohol prices, though large variations exist across categories. Furthermore, logistic regressions revealed ‘purchased a special’ and ‘simple prices’ as determinants of alcohol price knowledge. The results suggest that alcohol tax increases must be significant to be effective when targeting young people. Otherwise, such increases go unnoticed and other policy instruments may perform better, not least when targeting the youngest, and thus most vulnerable group.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)286-299
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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