Aims: This study aims to compare the average price of liquor in the United States between retail alcohol outlets in states that have a monopoly ('control' states) with those that do not ('licence' states).
Design: A cross-sectional study of brand-specific alcohol prices in the United States.
Setting: We determined the average prices in February 2012 of 74 brands of liquor among the 13 control states that maintain a monopoly on liquor sales at the retail level and among a sample of 50 license-state liquor stores, using their online-available prices.
Measurements: We calculated average prices for 74 brands of liquor by control versus license state. We used a random-effects regression model to estimate differences between control and license state prices-overall and by alcoholic beverage type. We also compared prices between the 13 control states.
Findings: The overall mean price for the 74 brands was $27.79 in the license states [95% confidence interval (CI): $25.26-30.32] and $29.82 in the control states (95% CI: $26.98-32.66). Based on the random-effects linear regression model, the average liquor price was approximately $2 lower (6.9% lower) in license states.
Conclusions: In the United States monopoly of alcohol retail outlets appears to be associated with slightly higher liquor prices.
© 2012 The Authors, Addiction © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction.