Best practice in estimating the costs of alcohol – Recommendations for future studies



2010, vi + 64 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 4207 9
This publication is only available online.

This report aims to summarize best practice in estimating the attributable and avoidable costs of alcohol, and to make recommendations for making such estimates in future studies. It discusses the conceptual basis for such cost studies, and examines the conceptual and methodological challenges for each type of cost in turn. It recommends:

  1. changes in the terminology used;
  2. the consistent and explicit consideration of external costs;
  3. more sophisticated modelling of the effect of policy on costs;
  4. more robust attempts to quantify alcohol’s causal effect on harm and costs;
  5. a demonstration project using new methodologies;
  6. the use of scenarios rather than existing sensitivity analyses;
  7. the importing of data from other studies rather than simply omitting certain types of cost;
  8. consideration of future health and resource costs; and
  9. not using the human capital method for valuing the labour costs of premature mortality within the main estimates.