Is there a link between alcohol consumption and the level of poverty?

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Jayathilaka, Ruwan
Selvanathan, Saroja
Bandaralage, Jayatilleke S
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2016
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Abstract

In many developing countries, in addition to household income, there are a number of other socio-economic determinants of poverty. One such hidden socio-economic factor is alcohol consumption and some studies argue that there is a link between alcohol consumption and poverty. The main aim of this study is to measure the effects of alcohol consumption on the level of poverty in a systematic way. Using Sri Lanka as a case study, this article demonstrates that the consumption of various types of alcoholic beverages, particularly, the illegal beverages, has a significant positive association with the level of poverty. The findings of this study suggest that, in Sri Lanka, the consumption of illegal alcoholic beverages increases the likelihood of being in a poor household by 2–3%. The results of this study also find that households who are characterized as nonpoor but are just above the poverty line behave more like the poor rather than the nonpoor in terms of alcohol consumption. Some of the conclusions from this Sri Lankan case study can be applied to other developing countries.

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Applied Economics

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48

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22

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Applied economics

Applied economics not elsewhere classified

Econometrics

Alcohol consumption

Ordered probit model

Poverty

Household characteristics

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