Social impact of alcohol overestimated

The social cost of alcohol to the Australian community has been overestimated, according to a University of Canterbury paper presented at yesterday’s Australian Conference of Economists in Canberra.

The research exposed flaws in the methods used in a 2008 report that suggested the annual cost of alcohol to the Australian economy was more than A$15 billion. This figure would be 75% lower if the 2008 researchers had used mainstream economic method.

The study was commissioned by the Australian National Alcohol Beverage Industries Council (NABIC) through a grant administered by UC’s Research & Innovation Office and the College of Business and Economics.

The research team analysed a 2008 report by Australian academics David Collins and Helen Lapsley, published by the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, that estimated the costs of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug abuse to Australian society in the 2004/2005 period.

Read more at University of Canterbury