RES Young Economist of the Year Competition
11th grade, IB, Podar International School, India
Prompt: "What are the best economic policies to curb alcohol consumption?"
A Motley Collection: Economics, Desi Sharab, Cricket, and Bollywood.
If I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone fallaciously basing their entire argument on only "pure economics" without any reference to other disciplines, I would be a rich young economist. In retrospect, even if I had a penny, I would be rich. In analyzing alcohol regulation policies though, it would be prudent to use what Gary Becker, the 1992 Nobel Prize Laureate, calls "the economic approach" rather than pure economics based entirely on those esoteric concepts that sound like utter jargon to the neophyte. In this, only the methodology of rationalizing, not the products of rationalizing, is applied to a wide array of topics. This amalgamation of disciplines leads to a more holistic and positive framework that is robust, pardon the oxymoron, yet flexible.
Though this "assorted" economic approach may seem ludicrous at first, its emphasis on correlation largely based on data gives a fundamental idea of any societal issue and what better way is there of applying this "back to the basics" method than to alcohol policies?
Consider some of the more renowned brewery brands, a-la "Budweiser" or "Heineken." Present in most markets, these markets has surprisingly only started to make their presence felt in the Indian market. Hoping to gain headway against the dominant brewery, United Breweries, it has (some would say foolishly) tried to target the same target audience as United Breweries, which incidentally has decades of experience in the Indian market quite unlike its contemporaries. What is more disturbing is that this target group would be considered a minority: urban dwellers. Occupying a mere 28.8%...