Does a Recession have an Impact on Alcohol Consumption?


  • Johanna Dziadkiewicz
  • Alexia Pisani
  • Rebecca Wong



The hypothesis of this paper is alcohol consumption will decrease when a country experiences a recession. We have used data covering the yearly consumption (in litres per capita) of alcohol from the World Health Organization (2015), combined with yearly & quarterly GDP data from the OECD website (2015) to firstly identify years where there have been more than 2 periods of negative growth (recession), and to compare these data sets to see if any relationship exists.
We have used correlation analysis between the financial data and the consumption data, as well as scatter graphs to see if there is a high correlation (0.7) or a trend, for 3 countries that have experienced a recession over the last 15 years (US, Finland & Greece). What we found is that some types of alcohol did appear to show both positive and negative relationships to GDP or recession but this relationship differed between countries. There are other factors that must be considered including cultural relationship to alcohol in different locations, as well as any government or social programs.