Evaluation of changes in alcohol consumption: evidence from Russia
Purpose – The paper investigates changes in consumption of pure alcohol, vodka, beer, wine and fortified
wine by neighboring age classes of Russians.
Design/methodology/approach – Data source is the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey – HSE from
2000 to 2017. Age groups are those born in 1934 and older, in 1935–1944 and further with a 10-years interval till
the group of 1985 and younger. The amount of consumed alcohol is estimated with Heckman model. LR-test is
used to determine the similarity of alcohol consumption behavior of age groups. Oaxaca–Blinder
decomposition presents the difference in the average level of alcohol consumption among two neighboring
age classes with the explained and unexplained parts.
Findings – Male and female respondents from the group (1985þ) drink significantly less absolute alcohol than
the previous age class born in 1975–1984. Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition shows that an increase in absolute
alcohol consumption for women and a decrease in absolute alcohol consumption for men come from the
unexplained difference of consumption volumes. Policy measures should be targeted on the prevention of
excessive alcohol consumption among Russian women since they demonstrate an increase in the consumption
of vodka, beer and fortified wine from one generation to another.
Originality/value – For the first time, the paper presents decomposition of changes in alcohol consumption
volumes for neighboring age groups of Russians. The change in consumption volumes might be due to the
change of objective characteristics of individuals and unobservable factors like the influence of advertising,
government policy and the entry of new alcohol producers into the market.