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Working paper

The Effect Of Closing Hour Restrictions On Alcohol Use And Abuse In Russia

This research estimates the effect of the restriction of trading hours on the use of alcoholic beverages falling under the restriction, and to evaluate the substitution effect for the beverages not under the restriction. The hypotheses tested are that these policies decrease use of factory-made vodka and increase use of home-made vodka (samogon) and factory-made light beverages. Overall use, binge drinking, and the consumption of vodka, samogon, beer, and wine were examined. The conclusions are that the sales restrictions leads to a decrease of factory-made vodka consumption and its partial substitution by samagon for people most exposed to the restriction. A by-product of the restriction is a redistribution of alcohol market in favor of the big shops that resulted in a fall in samogon sales and rise in wine sales.