Studying Alcohol Pricing and Taxation Policies in India

India is the third largest market for alcoholic beverages in the world. As many as 32% of Indians consume alcohol, with 4% to 13% consuming it daily. While per capita alcohol consumption has fallen since 1980 in most developed countries, it has risen over 115% in India. While excessive alcohol consumption has become a health, social, and developmental concern, there is little research in India on how taxation affects alcohol consumption.

This project proposes to fill this critical gap and to help Indian policymakers develop effective alcohol control policies. The Public Health Foundation of India will carry out the research. The research team will study trends in alcohol taxation and pricing policies across 10 selected Indian states and analyze their linkages with alcohol expenditure patterns and consumption over 12 years (from 2001 to 2012).

Researchers will use econometric models to estimate price and taxation elasticities-or how changing one economic variable will affect others. These estimates will account for specific beverages and differences between rural and urban populations. The controlled analysis will include a series of state-level and household-level confounders (extraneous or hidden variables). They will collect data from multiple sources, including the National Sample Survey Office of India and the 10 state excise tax departments.

Based on the results, researchers will recommend evidence-based alcohol taxation policies suited to the Indian context. They will disseminate the results through scientific papers, media briefs, and policy briefs for legislators, administrators, and alcohol control advocates in India, as well as throughout South and Southeast Asia.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, July 8, 2013

End Date

Monday, April 20, 2015


18 months

IDRC Officer

Beeche, Arlyne

Total funding

CA$ 235,300


India, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Food, Environment, and Health

Project Leader

Dr. Monika Arora


Public Health Foundation of India

Institution Country


Institution Website