APIS Senior Social Scientist, Michael Klitzner, Ph.D., has prepared a new monograph that compares several indices of State alcohol taxes to determine whether there is a method for making cross-State comparisons of economic availability that is more precise than the specific excise tax, the variable used to index economic availability in most alcohol policy studies.
The results demonstrate that using specific excise taxes to index differences among States in economic availability of alcohol may not be the best measurement choice. Instead, using measures of specific excise taxes plus ad valorem excise taxes, or a total tax measure are more precise than using specific excise tax alone. Additionally, a total tax measure provides the most precision among the three indices.
Following the recommendations from this analysis can enhance future studies of the effects of alcohol taxes on alcohol-related public health harms such as traffic crashes, violence and crime, and issues on college campuses.
Citation: Klitzner, Michael. Improving the Measurement of State Alcohol Taxes. 2012.