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CINCH - Health Economics Research Center

Essen Health Economics Seminar @ CINCH Essen


On Monday, December 2 2019, 14:00 - 15:30, Rob Pryce (University of Sheffield) will present:

The Effect of Alcohol Tax Changes on Retail Prices

Background and Aims: Alcohol duty increases are recommended by the WHO as a ‘best buy’ and as a result have been used as a government policy in helping tackle harmful alcohol consumption. However, the effectiveness of such policies relies heavily on alcohol retailers passing such increases on to the consumers (also referred to as “pass-through”). This study use retail sales data to assess the extent to which recent tax changes have been passed through in the on-trade market (outlets like bars, restaurants, coffee shops, clubs, hotels etc.) and whether this varies across the price distribution.

Setting: January 2007 to December 2017 inclusive, England. Design and Measurements: Product-level quarterly panel data for 777 alcoholic products across seven different outlet types (Hotel, Independent Pub, Managed Pub, Non- Managed Pubs, Proprietary Club, Restaurant, and Sports/Social Club). Products were analysed in seven broad beverage categories (Beer, Cider, RTDs, Spirits, Wine, Sparkling Wine, and Fortified Wine). Panel data quantile regression analysis estimating the impact of 12 excise duty changes and 3 sales tax changes on on-trade English alcohol prices.

Findings: For all seven broad beverage categories, we find evidence to suggest that there exist substantial differences in tax pass-through across the price distribution. At the lowest points of the price distribution, we find evidence of undershifting for the cheapest 25% of products across all outlet locations. Additionally, at the higher end of the distribution, excise tax increases are overshifted such that prices are higher than expected. We decompose our findings further and analyse pass-through separately for each outlet type and find considerable heterogeneity in pass-through across the various on-trade locations.

Conclusions: Pass-through rates vary considerably between outlet types and beverage categories, as well as across the price distribution. Retailers appear to undershift cheaper beverages and subsidise this loss in revenue with an overshift in the relatively more expensive products.

Room: WST-C.02.12, Weststadttürme Berliner Platz 6-8, Essen

To find more on upcoming seminars, click here.

New CINCH working paper


A new working paper has been added to the CINCH working paper series: “Low Emission Zones for Better Health: Evidence from German Hospitals” by Nico Pestel and Florian Wozny.

Abstract: This paper studies health effects from restricting the access of high-emission vehicles to inner cities by implementing Low Emission Zones. For identification, we exploit variation in the timing and the spatial distribution of the introduction of new Low Emission Zones across cities in Germany. We use detailed hospitalization data combined with geo-coded information on the coverage of Low Emission Zones. We find that Low Emission Zones significantly reduce levels of air pollution in urban areas and that these improvements in air quality translate into population health benefits. The number of diagnoses related to air pollution is significantly reduced for hospitals located within or in close proximity to a Low Emission Zone after it becomes effective. The results are mainly driven by reductions in chronic cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

See all working papers.

Essen Health Economics Seminar @ CINCH Essen


On Monday, November 25 2019, 14:00 - 15:30, Reyn van Ewijk (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) will present:

Are Grandchildren good for you? The Health Effects of becoming a Grandparent

While a burgeoning literature has been focusing on the health effects of two major transitions in the life of the elderly – retirement and death of a spouse – a third major potential life transition, taking on the role of grandparent, has remained largely unexplored. As people are spending a longer time in grandparenthood, the health dynamics of this transition are relevant for policy makers considering child care policies, retirement policies or other policies part of the active ageing framework. Using longitudinal data of 10 Western European countries from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we are, to our knowledge, the first to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the causal relationship of the transition to grandparenthood on the health of the elderly. We find that the transition into grandparenthood leads to worsening subjective well-being. At the same time, however, physical health improves. Both effects are more pronounced among grandmothers. Heterogeneity analyses show that the negative effects on subjective well-being occur among grandparents who are less closely involved with their families and never take care of their grandchildren. These individuals also do not experience positive effects on physical health when becoming a grandparent. The positive effects on physical health occur among grandparents with the opposite profile, whose subjective well-being remains unaffected. Exploring potential channels for these effects, we find that grandparenthood increases the probability that people retire, increases the amount of contact that they have with their children, and does not affect whether they are physically inactive, though it does lead to a reduction in vigorous physical activity.

Room: WST-C.02.12, Weststadttürme Berliner Platz 6-8, Essen

To find more on upcoming seminars, click here.