May 7, 2009

First there was Economics, then Freakonomics, then ‘(insert your favourite word here)onomics’ so naturally I bring you beeronomics – the study of the beer economy.

Until the dream of free beer is realised, beer is going to me cost money – fair enough, I’m happy to pay for someone to produce my beer. Then there’s GST, which I’m happy enough to pay until the day all taxes and death are abolished. But on top of that do-gooder politicians and lawyers want me to cover the costs others impose of society because they can’t handle their booze.

Well, this is where my problems start. It’s a fair enough assumption that there are a significant amount of problems relating to alcohol abuse in this country – but as politicians strive to be seen to being doing something, anything about this – a whole raft of bad legislation is sure to follow, that will do little to solve the problem and unfairly punish non-problem drinkers.

Instead of continuing my rant I’ll link to useful pieces others have already written about the problems associated with the Law Commissions’ analysis and proposals.

Real life economist and obvious beer fan, Eric Crampton’s extensive analysis of the issue can be found on his blog here.

The Real Beer NZ Blog has a spirited post titled Dear “Sir” Geoffrey. Eric responds to some of the assumptions here.

Further in the study of Political Beerconomy, my friend Brad Taylor has a piece titled Bootleggers and Baptists which links to a post at the Visible Hand in Economics where Matt Nolan asks Why are they making my beer more expensive?

After all that reading you’ll probably be ready for a beer.



  1. What are you complaining about? I’m guessing you’re one of those problem drinkers (a bit more than two pints per day) who does not derive any enjoyment from their drinking whatsoever. You’d be grateful if you weren’t so deluded.

  2. Just found this: http://www.beeronomics.org/

    Beeronomics conference, appropriately being held in the Belgian city of Leuven.

    • That looks like the sort of conference I want to be attending. Programme looks a bit thin on the economics though…

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